What to do the day after you lose a presidential election? John McCain avoided the newspapers. Michael Dukakis went right back to work. As for Mitt Romney, he and his wife turned to comfort food.
“The morning after Mitt conceded defeat in his 2012 presidential campaign, I came home and made Grandmother Pottinger’s pancakes for both of us,” Ann Romney writes in her new cookbook. “There was so much batter left over that we decided to make pancakes for the Secret Service guys who were packing up to leave.”
In “The Romney Family Table,” which hits shelves next week, the former Republican presidential candidate’s wife shares her most trusted recipes – from pancakes and pies to Mitt’s favorite meat loaf cakes.
The secret to those? The “sweet and tangy” sauce made with ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard and all-spice. Best served with mashed potatoes and cooked carrots, according to Ann.
Mitt also has a fondness for rhubarb pie, hot dogs and – back to the pancakes – he likes those two at a time “with crunchy peanut butter between them, all topped with maple syrup,” she writes.
The book, published by Shadow Mountain, features mostly simple, All-American recipes (chicken pot pie, potato salad, apple crumb cake) and a bunch of family photos: Mitt making ice cream for his grandchildren, lots of Romney baby pics and Ann looking very Martha Stewart-esque in the kitchen.
Readers will also be reminded that the Romneys just might have the perfect family life. Ann writes of idyllic summer gatherings at the lake house, in-laws who all get along and Christmas Eve feasts after which “we would retire to the family room, where Mitt would lead off the evening’s program with his reading of excerpts from ‘A Christmas Carol’, by Charles Dickens.”
It “may sound ideal, but it rarely works out quite that way,” Romney insists.
In family stories throughout the book, Romney recalls the challenges of raising five rambunctious boys and the joy of caring for — and feeding — a growing flock of grandkids.
She also manages to slip in one (very mild) political dig. Next to her recipe for Fluffernutter Sandwiches, Romney notes that “Mayor Bloomberg probably has Fluff high on his list of substances to be banned in New York City.”
“For me,” she writes. “[That] would be an added incentive to keep it around.”