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The original Ben & Jerry's courtesy of George Washington

Monday - 2/20/2012, 11:19am  ET

AP: f76dd8b3-1e7d-4ae2-abf4-27d5709f2713
''Grab some of that ice, corporal!'' (AP)

WASHINGTON - Apparently the first president had a fondness for ice cream, but he would be none too pleased with the weather this year. President George Washington used to cut the ice needed for his recipe from the frozen Potomac River, according to the NPR blog The Salt.

The warm winter weather this year would not satiate Washington's sweet tooth. It's nothing like the chilly weather on Jan. 26, 1786, when the "father of his country" wrote about his effort to collect the necessary ingredient.

"Renewed my Ice operation to day, employing as many hands as I conveniently could in getting it from the Maryland shore, carting and pounding it," Washington wrote.

Even after he collected the ice, the dessert was far from complete. It was then stored in a dry well or ice house until dairy cows could provide milk and cream in the spring.

This information is part of a new exhibit at Mount Vernon, Washington's estate. Named "Hoecakes and Hospitality," the exhibit opens Presidents Day weekend.

The exhibit explains where Martha Washington got her recipe for the slushy treat. Only fruit was added to the cream and sugar at Mount Vernon. So it is a good bet her husband never got the chance to try vanilla or chocolate flavors.


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