I was recently asked to be an ambassador for the Ben Franklin funds through the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF). Ben Franklin left 1,000 pounds to the people of Boston and another 1,000 pounds to Philadelphia. Each city was required to put this money into a fund to generate interest and support the community over the next 200 years. In 1990, Franklin’s Boston endowment was worth more than $5,000,000 and the Philly fund was worth $2,500,000. CICF created the Ben Franklin Funds to give Hoosiers the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy in the city that we all love: Indianapolis.
In celebration of the Indianapolis Foundation’s 100th anniversary, CICF created two funds modeled after Franklin’s endowment. Ambassadors were asked to tap into their network of friends and ask them if they would be willing to be one of 1,000 donors who contribute $100 each to build a $100,000 charitable fund that will grow to $100 million over the next 100 years. A list of these donors will be featured in a legacy book and they will be able to share their vision for the future of Indy.
Every ambassador will host a dinner for those that have donated. Since I do not always follow the rules, I decided to host a pre-donation dinner to get my friends excited about the project and it was a great excuse to have a presidential theme complete with presidential fact cards, bobble heads, and the nerdiest dinner discussion ever. The dinner also served as an opportunity to discuss what we foresee for Indy in the next 100 years.
Not surprisingly, I have enough political paraphernalia to last a lifetime including a Capitol Hill cookbook and four different sets of presidential trivia fact cards. I received the cookbook from my mom for Christmas a few years ago and it was a lifesaver for this party. I chose Edith Roosevelt’s fat rascals, aka biscuits, solely because of the name, John McCain’s baked beans, John Boehner’s potato salad, Bill Clinton’s chocolate chip cookies, and Michelle Obama’s apple cobbler. I also made glazed sugar cookies in political shapes, a five pound piece of pork, and asparagus.
Every party needs props for a photo booth!
The dessert bar
Photo booth fun! I hung an American flag on the back of a door and put props in a basket. Add a polaroid camera and you have an instant photo booth!
We split up into two teams after dinner and played a round of presidential trivia!
The best hostess gift I have ever received. My friend Tory’s daughter, Sophie, drew an American flag and Ben Franklin on a wine bottle for me.
One of the three prints that Kim made for door prizes and the perfect wine from Joanna.
John Boehner’s Southwest Potato Salad
Edith Roosevelt’s Fat Rascals
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tsps baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1/2 pound dried currants (I used dried cranberries)
- 1/2 cup milk
Mix all dry ingredients together. Cut in the butter (similar to if you were making scones). Stir in currants or cranberries. Add milk. Shape dough int a ball and then a disk. Cut out biscuits with a cutter or mason jar.
Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Serve with butter.
Bill Clinton’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup shortening (I used unsalted butter)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Combine flour, salt and baking soda.
- Beat together shortening or butter, sugars and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy.
- Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in rolled oats and then chocolate chips.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Michelle Obama’s Apple Cobbler
- 8 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
- 1-1/2 to 2 cups of brown sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 sheets refrigerated pie crust (I made a double batch of Martha Stewart’s pie crust recipe)
- 1 stick of butter
Preheat oven at 325 degrees. Butter and flour the bottom of a large baking dish. Roll out three pie crusts as thin as possible. Layer the bottom of the pan with 1-1/2 of the pie crusts and prick a few holes in it. Pour the apples with the liquid into the pie pan. Dot 3/4 of a stick of butter around the apples. Use the final 1-1/2 pie crusts to cover the apple mixture entirely (let the pie crust overlap the pan).
Pinch the edges of the dough around the sides of the pan so the mixture is completely covered. Melt the final 1/4 stick of butter and brush all over top of crust.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees and bake for up to three hours.
John McCain’s AZ baked beans
16 oz can red kidney beans
16 oz can B&M baked beans (I used Trader Joe’s baked beans)
1 cup ketchup
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
4 strips of bacon, cooled and crumbled
In a skillet sauté chopped onion with a tablespoon of butter. In a large baking pot combine kidney beans, baked beans, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, and crumbled bacon. After combining and stirring enough to mix the ingredients, and the sautéed onions. Bake in a covered dish at 350-375°F for 35 minutes.
Winnie helping with the beverage situation on the patio.
Have a great week, y’all. Xx