Let them eat cake (or a Yule log or cookies shaped like Barney)

War is hell, unless you're invited to a White House holiday reception.

Tim Grieve
November 30, 2006 10:38PM (UTC)

Tony Snow isn't the only one with a little sensitivity problem. As the president flies back from his summit on the war -- the one that will have claimed the lives of more than 3,000 Americans by Christmas -- the Office of the First Lady is distributing the menu for this year's White House holiday receptions.

What we'll be missing:


Display of Specialty Cheeses and Winter Fruits (Served with a Bountiful Display of Lavish Specialty Crackers and Spiced Pecans).

Colossal Shrimp Cocktail and Jonah Crab Claws (Served with Ramseys Cocktail Sauce and Spiced Remoulade).

Stuffed Turkey Breasts with Winter Mushrooms, Cheese and Brandied Cranberries.

Sugar Cured Virginia Ham with Hot Pepper Mustard (Served with Warm Blue Corn Muffins).

Chicken Fried Beef Tenderloin with White Onion Gravy (Served with Tiny Icebox Rolls).

Herb Roasted Lollipop Lamb Chops served with Warm Yeast Rolls.

Honey Cup Mustard Sauce.


Fresh Tamales with Tomatillo Sauce and Black Beans.

Baked White Cheddar Farfalle.

Sweet Potato Soufflé.

Asparagus Tier with Lemon-Garlic Aioli.

Golden and Crimson Beet Salad with Orange, Fennel, and Feta.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies with Peppermint Crunch.

Pecan Sandie Tree (Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes) with Layers of Cookies.

Holiday Ornamental Cookies: Barney, Miss Beazley, Christmas Trees, Snowflakes, Candy Canes.

Red Hat Box Mascarpone Cake.

White Pound Cake with Mascarpone Cream Filling, Red Marzipan Frosting and Red Ribbon Bow Decoration.


Coconut Cake.

Coconut Chiffon Cake, Coconut Pastry Cream Filling and 7 Minute Meringue Frosting.

Chocolate Roulade (Christmas Log): Soft Ganache Frosting with a Chocolate Sponge, Meringue Mushrooms, Magnolia Leaves in White Chocolate, Raspberries.

Mini Tartlettes.


Pecan Pie, Lemon Meringue Pie, Orange Chiffon and Chocolate Boston Cream Pie.

Chocolate Truffles.

Homemade, Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache.

Long Stem Strawberries with Dark Chocolate Dipping Sauce.

Warm Macintosh Apple Cobbler With Oatmeal Crumble.

Pumpkin Trifle.


Spiced Pumpkin Mousse with Whipped Cream and Shaved Dark Chocolate.

Would it be wrong to mention just now that 52 bodies -- apparent victims of death squad violence -- were found in and around Baghdad Wednesday? That security forces have discovered 28 bodies in what appears to be a mass grave near Baquba? That a roadside bomb has killed three more Iraqi police officers near Jurf al-Sakhar? That at least one Shiite warlord enjoys running electric drills through the heads of the people he's torturing?

OK, we'll admit that we're being unfair here. The pumpkin trifle may actually be the same thing as the spiced pumpkin mousse with whipped cream and shaved dark chocolate, meaning that White House holiday guests may have only 22 -- not 23 -- desserts from which to choose this year. It's like the president says: "The time of war is a time of sacrifice."

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

MORE FROM Tim Grieve

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