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Jackie Kennedy handwritten notes, meal plans up for auction: 'Mr. K can eat nothing fried'

An auction house in Massachusetts is selling a unique set of meal plans and letters from Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis to the Kennedy's personal chef and housekeeper in 1958.

An auction house in Boston, Massachusetts is selling never-before-seen correspondents and meal plans written by Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis providing insight into the lives of the former first couples' time in Washington, D.C.'s Georgetown neighborhood during John F. Kennedy's tenure in the Senate.

The fascinating collection of handwritten letters, family pictures and meal plans was sent to the Kennedy's personal chef and housekeeper Tania Herbst, between May and August 1958. 

Now, Boston-based RR Auction house is selling the collection to the highest bidder.

Jackie, who spoke multiple languages fluently, wrote the personal letters in English and French and gave insight on her and her husband’s quirky eating habits.

"Mr. K," as Jacqueline called her spouse, "can eat nothing fried," she wrote.

"He likes all these creamed foods, so just give me a salad and raw fruit in place of his desserts and vegetables," the future first lady instructed Herbst in a note.


Breakfast, Jacqueline instructed, for the future president should include, "two poached eggs on Pepperidge toast rounds, crisp over broiled bacon, orange juice-pepperidge white toast-coffee-marmalade."

Jackie requested that their personal chef Herbst should prepare, "orange juice, coffee, toast, skim milk, a 4-minute boiled egg, and 1 envelope of Knox gelatin." She also instructed that her toast be with, "no calories." 

Other dishes on the couple’s meal plan included: homemade cream soup, broiled chicken, elbow macaroni salad, purée of creamed spinach, steak, snow pudding, hamburgers and "a raw pear for Mrs. Kennedy." A card in the collection also includes a handwritten recipe, penned in a mix of French and English, for homemade egg muffins.

Beyond meal notes, the collection up for auction also includes three handwritten letters, two of which were penned on Jacqueline's personal '3307 N Street' letterhead. 


While undated, their contents offer further insights into the day-to-day workings of the Kennedy household. 

One of the letters includes a glowing letter of recommendation for Herbst, praising her culinary skill and work ethic.

"Tania Herbst has been with us 11 months. She is a good cook and is completely honest, sober, reliable and trustworthy," Jacqueline wrote in the letter.

Another letter reveals the future-first lady's concern over the high expenses for food, urging Herbst to economize and stick to a budget of $75 per month while the family was away.

"After the gentleman has left watch out for the expenses for food, the 'bills' feel way too high—you have to economize," Jacqueline instructed Herbst. "I want to do a rerun of $75 a month—while we're away—it'll start with August…I'll make up the difference when I get home."

The collection also includes a 6 x 4 postcard of the French Riviera which is postmarked from Cannes, France, on September 1, 1958. 

There are also family photos of JFK and Jacqueline posing with a baby, JFK and Jackie posing with a group of men and photos of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. There are also colored photos of Herbst with young Ted and Joan Kennedy along with individually signed photos of Ted and Joan Kennedy to Tania and Louise Herbst. 

The Herbst's also included and two Christmas cards from Ted and Joan Kennedy, both with personal sentiments inside.

On Tuesday, 15 interested parties swelled the prices of the food-filled collection to $2,600. The bidding ends at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 12.

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