Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Breaking News

Community News Network

November 14, 2012

At a White House Thanksgiving, tradition is a presidential thing

WASHINGTON — Traditional. Traditional! TRADITIONAL!!

Oh how many times Cristeta Comerford hears that word around this time of year. So many times that the White House executive chef breaks into song to explain — ever so briefly, ever so cautiously.

"I feel like belting out, 'Traaaaaaaaa-di-SHUN!' " she trills, tossing an arm into the air, channeling her best Broadway-songstress vibe.

Here in the snug, stainless-steel kitchen of America's most famous home, generations of White House chefs have heard the same request for adherence to tradition that first lady Michelle Obama has delivered to Comerford since 2009. Our presidents and their families are forever asking for a Thanksgiving meal that will feel familiar to them, and, it goes without saying, to the American people.

But tradition is a funny creature. It has a certain elasticity. Look beyond the predictable roasted turkey and the pies, peer around the not-so-stunning stuffing, and you'll find presidential Thanksgiving menus that provide fresh little insights about each first family's tastes and about the way Americans eat.

The Obamas plan to celebrate at the White House on Thursday for the fourth year in a row. Logs will roar in the fireplaces on the first floor of the White House. Family and staff on an undisclosed guest list will gather. The host couple reflect their times, an era of organic-this and local-that. So, this Thanksgiving their menu features a kale and fennel salad, the main ingredients harvested from their history- and headline-making White House Kitchen Garden, that potent symbol of the first lady's healthful-eating crusade just steps away from the White House stoves.

No creamy, gloppy, fattening dressing, either. Their fresh produce will be dappled with a dressing that would make a dietitian beam, blended from shallots, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and olive oil.

Text Only
Community News Network
Biz Marquee
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands