Lyndon Baines Johnson was a man of large and unfettered desires, and if you've heard some outlandish tale about his antics, it was probably true. Meetings taken on the toilet in full view of his staff? Yes, on the regular. Shower specially equipped to aim directly at his junk—which he famously named "Jumbo"—and forcefully up his rear? Vouched for by the White House plumber, and subsequently dismantled by Richard Nixon. Nude press conference in front of reporters on Air Force One? Verified. According to one eyewitness: "Standing buck naked and waving his towel for emphasis, the President exploded. 'Well I'll tell you one thing: I'm gonna keep talking about it until you vomit it up.'" ("It," for the record, was the state of the American economy.)

And when it came to food, LBJ's appetites were similarly unchecked. The 36th president consumed massive (some might say indiscriminate) quantities of cigarettes, booze, and non-spousal companionship and it was said around the White House kitchen that Johnson would "eat anything that doesn’t bite him first." He was however pretty particular about his morning meal. 

Per The White House Family Cookbook, First Lady Ladybird Johnson was a huge fan of eggs, omelets, pancakes, waffles, and grits and the president regularly indulged in chipped beef covered with cream—but most importantly, there darned well better be hot biscuits on the breakfast table. Hell, serve 'em at lunch and dinner, too.

The biscuits were sourdough, ideally, and stuffed with highly seasoned beef-and-pork East Texas "hot guts" sausage, ham, or homemade deer sausage so peppery his wife couldn't abide it. For her part, Ladybird (long in the habit of planting a victory garden) insisted upon serving peach preserves at every meal, and when entertaining back home, she took great pride in announcing that the beans on the table had been grown right there on the grounds of the Johnson family's Texas ranch

On the rare occasions that Ladybird convinced her husband to exercise a modicum of restraint, the breakfast menu consisted of "half a melon, hot tea, low-calorie orange juice (for a reservoir of energy—a slice of grilled lean steak)." But the efforts were generally all for naught because the president simply couldn't keep his hands off the sweet stuff. According to A Treasury of White House Cooking, "At receptions at the White House, Lady Bird Johnson would sigh and shake her head as she saw her husband break his diet and reach into a bowl of Fiddle-Faddle. He simply could not resist the combinations of nuts and popcorn held together by syrup."

LBJ Ranch Deer Meat Sausage

"A favorite recipe at the LBJ Ranch is for deer meat sausage. The finished product is recommended for late Sunday morning breakfast with scrambled eggs, hominy grits, hot biscuits, and boiling hot coffee."—The LBJ Library

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Mix together for 200 pounds of sausage.