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Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008 10:31 pm

IT'S ALL GRAVY

Maybe it's the elegant lemon cream cake. Maybe it's the recipe for Roast Raccoon. Or maybe it's the multiple references to both Abraham Lincoln and Velveeta processed cheese product within the covers of the same bound volume — undoubtedly a historic first. It's hard to say exactly what accounts for the unexpected popularity of the new cookbook put out by the volunteers at our Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, but the first printing of 1,500 copies, issued last week, has already sold out.

Linda Bee, director of volunteer services at ALPLM, says she's ordering a second printing that she hopes will be in the gift shop by Thanksgiving, in time for holiday shoppers — or for anyone wanting to serve raccoon instead of turkey this year (the raccoon recipe calls for stuffing and sweet potatoes).

Period recipes from Lincoln's era make up only a fraction of the 623 recipes in the book. Others are from descendants of his business associates and friends; many are modern, from the volunteers and staff. The cookbook sells for $39.99.

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