The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

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
  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014

  • Police Brutality screen shot. Technology plays key part in battling police brutality (VIDEO)

    Allegations of police brutality are nothing new -- as long as there has been law enforcement, citizens have registered claims that some officers cross the line. But in the last few years, the claims of excessive force are being corroborated with new technology from cell phone cameras, police dash-cams and surveillance videos. 

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo