Lincoln movie matched with tasty Civil War dishes


Image: Simply Recipes

Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field & Tommy Lee-Jones

Rating 8/10


– It’s January 1965 and President, Abraham Lincoln is on the battlefield meeting some of his soldiers both African-American and Caucasian. He thinks the war will soon be over but is worried about the defeat of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery for good.
– He starts planning for the vote to happen at the end of the month but the Radical Republicans think that it will be defeated.
– Then some of his fellow Republicans think it would be better to delay the vote for when the new government sits as it will have less Democrats sitting. Eek! What to do!?
– Lincoln makes a deal with Republican founder, Francis Preston Blair who asks for permission to try and make peace before the vote which the Pres does.
– After this Lincoln and his right hand man, William Seward set off to confirm votes from out-going Democrats using agents, who offer them jobs in exchange for their vote.
– Confederate representatives are kept away from the capital, ready to meet with the President when he says the word, but he doesn’t.
– Republican Congressman Thaddeus Stevens changes his tune on his definition of equality in order for the amendment to go through. But a rumour that the confederate delegates are in town threatens to delay the vote which is quashed by the President who denies it.
– The vote goes ahead and after this Lincoln meets away from the city with the Confederate reps brokering a peace.
– Then Lincoln goes to the theatre and the rest, as they say, is history.
– In the background of all this is Lincoln’s rocky relationship with his wife and his older son, as well as his loving relationship with his youngest son.


Ever wonder what those poor soldiers were chewing on while fighting in the American Civil War? Well wonder no longer. We’re starting our film and food blend with Delicious Beef Jerky recipe from New York Times.


I’ve been watching a lot of The West Wing lately and this movie reminds me so much of that series. They’re both driven by a whole heap of complicated dialogue that you must, you must concentrate on to get the hang of. No playing games on iPhones while watching. Focus, people, focus!

The action is played out through the dialogue, mostly. There are loads of discussions and speeches and wheeling and dealing. You have to keep track of the characters and all of them have fancy beards and tall hats. Tricky. But it’s great! Don’t expect chase scenes or too many explosions. This is history.

It’s deeply emotional, especially with the relationship between Lincoln and his wife. Day-Lewis is a brilliant actor, isn’t he? No wonder he won the Oscar for Best Actor. He was amazing. You would swear he was Lincoln reincarnated. Sally Field was great as usual but the biggest surprise was the performance of Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Lincoln’s older son, Robert. He’s been in a load of light, fluffy teenage movies where he played pretty superficial characters but he was fabulous as the trouble Robbie. Great job! Two thumbs up and a toe.

I love a bit of history and, being an Aussie, I didn’t know a lot about Lincoln or the Civil War but now I feel slightly more enlightened, although I feel like I need to see it again to absorb all the info. It was nominated for Best Picture so it’s really a movie you should see. Check it out!

Main meal:

A hearty meal is what a tired soldier needed to keep him going and what is better at warming the cockles of one’s heart than this? It’s Civil War Macaroni and Cheese from Simply Recipes.

Lincoln trivia:

  • Budget – $65 million
  • Apparently this movie inspired the state of Mississippi to ratify the 13th Amendment which they accidentally hadn’t done. Oops! This mistake was picked up by an academic who saw the movie then researched it up!
  • Initially Day-Lewis turned down the part of Abe.
  • Spielberg changed most of the names of the members who voted no to stop embarrassing their descendants.
  • Spielberg also wore a suit on set every day to get into the groove of it and addressed Day-Lewis as Mr President and Field as Mrs Lincoln.
  • Liam Neeson dropped out of the film as Lincoln because he felt he was too old for the part although Day-Lewis was only 5 years his junior.
  • Day-Lewis is the first actor to win a Best Actor Oscar in a Spielberg film. He absolutely loved the character of Lincoln and you can tell.
  • Based in part on a book called Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
  • Field put on over 10kg of weight to play Mrs Lincoln.


You can imagine how scarce ingredients would have been in those heady Civil War days and I’m sure dessert was a bit of a luxury. But one of the favourite sweets way back then was Oatmeal Pie. So let’s make it! This recipe is thanks to She Wears Many Hats.

Would you have survived on a Civil War diet? Hmmm.

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