Election night 'burgoo' -- tasty even for losers

The Reagan-Bush headquarters in New York will serve chopped liver for its Jewish supporters election night but no bologna, traditional campaign fare. "We'll leave that to the Democrats," says spokesman Enid Borden.

The posh Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Boston will definitely not alter its menu for election night festivities. But the equally sedate and old-guard Woman's National Republican Club in New York City may have a special election night cake "if Reagan wins."

All across America, election night means special menus -- though weary campaigners and the droves of news media scribes may yet again have to make due with cold cuts.

In Texas, many supporters of both candidates are hosting barbecues; in New England, some families will serve the "Hartford Election Cake," recipes for which date back to the early 1800s.

President Carter is scheduled to return to the White House from Plains, Ga., that day and is expected to dine at "home," press aides say. But he may join the party at the Sheraton-Washington Hotel later in the evening. The menu for Thursday night at the White House will be made up on Sunday.

"The President and a small group of people will dine at the White House," said White House press aide Jim Purk. "It could just be cold cuts."

"Every four years I think people feel a little more inclined to cook something special for their friends," said one New York City businesswoman. "And it's not all frivolity. It gets people into the spirit of the campaign."

At a recent fete at her apartment, she served Texas-style chili, wore an elephant toy around her neck, and was decked in campaign buttons from head to foot.

The "Heritage Cookbook," by Better Homes and Gardens, points out that "politicians have always resorted to all sorts of ways of getting votes. One of the more colorful was the political barbecue where the voters were swayed more by what they ate and drank than by the rhetoric. These vote-getting rallies were at their greatest during William Harrison's campaign. The featured dish was often burgoo, a hearty concoction of chicken, beef, and vegetables which took all night to prepare; and, as if to prove that the food was more important than the speeches, the rally itself was ofen called a burgoo."

Now, certainly, no rally or election-night party could be considered a burgoo these days. Or could it?

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