NEWPORT BEACH — Not many people would connect President James Madison to strawberry ice cream.
But, as a local historian tells the story, Madison's wife, Dolley, must have loved the dessert because, for the first time ever, a "magnificent pink dome of cream" was served at the president's second inaugural ball.
Suzy Evans, a Newport Beach mother of four, has read hundreds of passages in old cookbooks and personal records kept by many of the nation's historical figures, including the above description written in a letter by one of Dolley Madison's dinner guests in 1813.
The research is for her blog, the History Chef!, in which she combines historical facts with adaptations of actual recipes used as far back as the 18th century.
"I was never what you would call a 'foodie,'" said Evans, who earned her doctorate in history from UC Berkeley. "But, once I started doing this, I found that the material is really fun and exciting."