GM foods at the White House

Chuck Grimes cgrimes at
Sat May 26 19:42:41 PDT 2001

Apparently Nation editors didn't realize it, but Berkshire's piece was a joke. It wasn't intended as a Sokal-like hoax, but it's turned into one! Doug ---------------------

It was pretty obvious, especially the star link corn pudding. Serving salmon and then ruining it with pudding sounds almost British. And even the salmon is a bit suspect. Bush doesn't look like the kind of guy who eats salmon. He has to be a meat and potatoes man.

So how about a Bush White House menu for the Jospin reception?

Let's see, beer and BBQ potato chips, maybe beer nuts as an appetizer. The beer has to be Bud, or okay, Coors tall in the can. US football tapes on the tv with the sound turned way up. Cheney is over in the corner nursing a bourbon and water talking flood insurance with the Ladies.

Ring, here comes the soup and salad course. Soup, now that's a tough one. What is the worst, most boring, bland soup around? I got it, a choice, cream of mushroom or cream of celery, lukewarm, with those little salt crackers and no pepper on the table. Since this is the French delegation, also some hard bread sticks would be appropriate.

Okay, salad. Plain iceberg lettuce, with a shredded carrot garnish, a black olive or two, and a very thin slice of tomato. Dressing, hmm, another tough choice. Okay, we are sophisticated, so there's one of the lazy-susan style servers to make your own, like they have in cafeterias. The oil is (should be mineral oil, but hey), corn oil, and the vinegar is maybe something rash like one of those fancy colored ones that claims to wine vinegar. And then there is some amalgam of cream solids like `ranch-style', and maybe a really oily and red one that is supposed to be `russian'. God only knows what's in there. Nobody has tried it since Dessert Storm when it was called French.

Well here come the dinner rolls for a little break with hard frozen and slightly stale butter patties on paper. The rolls are hot and when you try to butter one, the outside collapses open with a half-cooked doughy center. Nobody cares because George W has just knocked down his fifth Coor's tall in a row and is talking too loud, Dick has changed over to straight bourbon with a twist and the Ladies are smiling through lip gloss with their eyes glazed over. Are we having fun with the French yet, or what?

Ah, the main course. Traditional mid-western style pork roast, rolled in flour, over cooked on the outside, and still pink on the inside, covered in a gelatinous goo of grayish brown gravy, surrounded by giant raw dough dumplings. The mashed potatoes are whipped into air so they can barely support the overly generous spoonfuls of gravy that coat everything, and there is still not a salt or pepper shaker in sight. The choice of vegetables are steamed carrots, green beans, or swiss chard rendered into a sticky green slime. Uhmm, good. But there is plenty of instant ice tea with some lemon rinds floating in the pitchers to wash it all down.

Dessert? Well, we have to watch our weight, so there is some slippery runny stuff that had `frozen yogurt ice cream' on the label, served with a bilious red syrup called `boysenberry' as the topping.

The brightening mood at the table is actually a sign of relief that dinner is over so we can get back to the drinking. Pass on the after dinner coffee. It will be served boiling hot and you will be able to see George Washington on the bottom of the cups. The bourbon might be okay, but forget the scotch, maybe finish off with a gin and tonic, although its likely to be tall on tonic and short on the gin.

If I was Jospin, I would eat very, very lightly, maybe one or two tastes of the meat if you can find it in the gravy, stay away from the vegetables, maybe a couple of spoonfuls of the mashed potatoes as filler, but mostly stick to the hard liquor, drinking it straight or with bottled mixers, since the water in DC is terrible. The real trick is to keep the people who are serving from putting any gravy on your plate---that way you can see what you don't want to try.

Don't forget to compilement what's-her-name (oh, you know, George's wife) sitting next you on what a great menu, and such a nice traditional american styled one it was. Don't over do it though, since you've probably never eaten anything like it, and hopefully never will again.

Maybe the best plan is to bring your own chefs (and food) and bribe the White House cooks to take the evening off. It's not that they couldn't do a bang-up job, but they have to take orders from what's-her-name and that is exactly what you don't want.

Probably wouldn't work.

Okay, okay, I got it. Here's the plan. Send somebody out to buy a couple of small bottles of Louisiana Tabasco sauce. You can palm the small ones and when nobody is looking you can cover the meat with tabasco sauce. If what's-her-name catches you, claim the Louisiana state delegation gave you a box of them and insisted you try it---some historical bullshit about the Louisiana purchase or something.

What is her name anyway---you know, George's wife, what's-her-name, Linda something?

Chuck Grimes

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