Christmas at The White House

Christmas, Featured Article, Holidays
on December 18, 2011
Christmas at the White House

Ever wondered how the leaders of the free world spend their holidays? Presidents are people too, and even the Chief Executive acts like a kid at Christmas, right? It depends on the President. Richard Nixon? Not quite Dickens-esque in his austerity, but not known for his holly-jolly Christmas spirit either. Teddy Roosevelt, on the other hand, was a total sentimentalist who left no festivity uncelebrated.

In 1903, Roosevelt's lush Christmas Day dinner at the White House featured roast goose, boiled white fish, creamed parsnips, mashed turnips, rice, almonds, Christmas plum pudding, Delicate Cake, and mince pie. President Benjamin Harrison favored Blue Point oysters, turkey, cranberry jelly and potatoes Duchesse. More recently, President Obama's White House Christmas reception menus have included an array of pick-up hors oeuvres—primarily because knives are only allowed in vicinity of the President during state dinners.

Roast Turkey and stuffing molded into balls then baked have been eagerly received by the Obamas' guests, along with potato pancakes with scallions, roasted root vegetables, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Opera torte, Apple Pie, pumpkin cake, and this year, a 400-pound replica of the White House made of gingerbread. It has working lights, four decorated rooms, and a the White House Kitchen Garden re-envisioned in chocolate and pastry.

Just in case your invitation to the White House Christmas festivities got lost in the mail, here's a few all-American stuffing recipes perfect for Christmas dinner at home. If you want to put a Presidential spin on it, chill the stuffing, then using a large melon baller, ice cream scoop, or your hands, shape the mixture into balls. Place on a lined or greased cookie sheet and bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes, or until set and golden brown.

By Stacey Norwood, Multimedia Editor