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Happy birthday Millard Fillmore!

By Richie Ann Ashcraft

Last week,  I was explaining to Soren what a New Year's resolution is. I told him my resolution this year was to spend more time playing games and things with the family, rather than cooking and cleaning all the time.

Later that night, he came downstairs holding a big book of president biographies and told me he'd decided on his New Year's resolution.

"I want to celebrate all the president's birthdays."

"Uh ... like on President's Day? We could have a cake." 

"No, I mean, all of them. And we should eat whatever they liked to eat."

Marty and I exchanged a look of shock and awe. Then we laughed, but only with our eyes.

What weird but nerdy cool idea. So what if we did? There’s only like, um, 40 or 50 of them right? Obviously even I needed to brush up on my presidents and this would provide a learning opportunity for us all.

“Okay, but you have to write it all down and keep track of it," I told him.

“Okay, but you’re in charge of the cake and food and stuff mom.”

He spent that evening writing every single president's birthday on our new 2014 calendar.

Yesterday, as we’re rushing out the door for the first day back to school after Christmas break, he says “Don’t forget that tonight is Millard Fillmore’s birthday.”

“Oh, I won’t,” I said, but in my head I thought how am I going to throw a party for Millard Fillmore tonight? Doh!

Millard Fillmore.


What does Millard Fillmore like to eat? I have no idea what this guy even did in office much less what he liked to munch on.

But, I asked the oracle Google who led me to this website, The Food Timeline. Awesome. The site has a little paragraph about all the president's favorite foods which is going to make this resolution so much easier.

I learned that Fillmore had the first cookstove installed in the White House. He liked simple country food like soup and something called Resurrection Pie. I was pretty sure Rachel Ray didn't have a 20-minute meal called Resurrection Pie, so I went with a simple cabbage soup. And, I'm pretty sure Fillmore didn't have Duncan Hines, so I made a shortcake with berries as his birthday dessert. (Confession: I used Bisquick.)

At dinner, I read the little paragraph I had printed from the site and then explained my food choices for the party as such. All the boys slurped up the soup juice, Fillmore style, then ate the veggies.

I also bought a box of candles for the occasion. Soren and Jonas put all the candles on the shortcake because quote "He's a really old guy."

Then we sang happy birthday to Millard Fillmore, our 13th president.

The funniest part was Marek's face as we sang. When we got to the name part, he looked around baffled because I'm pretty sure he still has no idea why we were singing to some old guy not at our dinner table, but whatever, there was shortcake. 

Anyway, Happy Birthday Millard Fillmore! One down, only like 40 or 50 more to go.


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Oh my gosh, what fun! And what an awesome idea for a book. If you don’t want to write it, let me know and I will. I must admit though, I’m glad it’s YOU and not ME who has to plan and carry out all those birthday parties.

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