Thursday, April 17, 2014

And Now, A Word From our Sponsor: Maxwell House...Haggadah

Slow news day, so let’s catch up on details of our annual White House Seder dinner, held Tuesday, the second night of Passover.

13884026825_cc8f0ca51b_bWoops! Big Guy forgot his beanie!

For starters, we had to bring in extra help to cook everything:

But this year, a secret culinary detail was called in – not celebrity chefs, but Washington caterer Vered Guttman, who writes the Modern Manna blog for, and filmmaker Susan Barocas, a food aficionado who helped launch the Jewish Food Experience in 2012.

As is our custom, each guest was provided with their own copy of the Maxwell House Haggadah to follow along, as the meal progresses, in the traditional service which recalls the Jews flight from Egypt and slavery.


  • Gefilte Fish
  • Haroset
  • Chicken Soup with Matzoh Balls
  • Salad of quinoa cooked in coconut milk with Tuscan kale and roasted yams (trendy!)
  • Wilted Spinach
  • Carrot Soufflé
  • Passover Noodle Kugel
  • Roasted potatoes with garlic and onion
  • Roasted sweet potatoes (from Lady M’s Organic Garden of Good and Evil)
  • Seared Salmon with Roasted Artichokes
  • Chicken with preserved lemons and green olives
  • Braised Beef Brisket
  • Raspberry Ganache Marjolaine
  • Passover Brownies
  • Passover Mandel Bread

Except that we’re missing the 8 varieties of pie, the number of dishes on the Seder buffet rivaled our annual Thanksgiving spread.

Even so, after looking over the menu I don’t know why we had to bring in extra cooks. I mean, how hard can it be?


Naturally everything was Kosher since many of our guests were Jewish, and even Jewish people who don’t observe Jewish dietary restrictions the rest of the year go Kosher for the Passover Seder. Additionally, they observing the restriction against eating leavened products during the eight days of Passover. So you know what that means; we had to wait till after the company left to enjoy our giant sticky buns


with a side of bacon bacon

and a nice glass of cold milk.

raw milk glass

Here’s who came to break unleavened bread the Wons this year:

Guest list:

  • Valerie Jarrett
  • Lisa Kohnke (former White House staffer)
  • Jen Psaki (State Department spokeswoman)
  • Arun Chaudhary (former White House videographer) and Laura Moser
  • Reggie Love (former Big Guy “body man”)
  • Cookie Offerman and Kelly Schaefer (friends)
  • Sam Tubman (White House Deputy Social Secretary)
  • Melissa Winter (senior adviser to the first lady)
  • Herbie Ziskend (chief of staff of the Huffington Post)
  • Joan Mass (Chicago friend)
  • Susan Sher (Chicago friend and former first lady chief of staff) and Judge Neil Cohen (Chicago friend)
  • Ben Rhodes (deputy national security adviser for strategic communications) and Ann Norris
  • Eric Lesser (former White House staffer) and Alison Silber
  • Eric Whitaker (Chicago friend)
  • David Axelrod (Chicago friend)
  • Matt Nosanchuk (White House Jewish liaison)

As you see, it was a totally diverse and politically correct Seder dinner guest list: at least one Muslim, several secular (Democrat) Jews, several Chicago friends – Jews (secular) and gentiles - and Reggie, for a little extra color.

After dinner Lady M passed out Easter Spring Spheres eggs as a practice run for our annual Spring Sphere Roll next Monday.

moI said, get in line.

Don’t worry, they were Kosher.

If you’re more concerned with the actual symbolism of the Seder dinner I would refer you to last year’s Seder post, where I detailed our updated interpretation:

Most of you are familiar with the traditional Passover Seder, so I’m just going to touch on a few of the transformative elements of Big Guy’s interpretation.

Traditionally, an extra place is set for Elijah the Prophet. It is said the Elijah will bring the Messiah so a place is reserved to make Elijah welcome hoping that he will bring the Messiah. I think you can see the problem: the new “messiah” is already here. So, to emphasize this fact, Big Guy, in the role of Lincoln, leads the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation before allowing the Prophet Elijah to join in the fun. Do you see how slickly this transmogrifies the central meaning of Passover to the American shame of black people still in shackles? Now that’s transformational! And historic!

Never Won to be upstaged in the trend setting, transformation department, Lady M added her own twist on Big Guy’s Seder toast. While Big Guy and guests raised glasses of Manny (his affectionate term for Manischewitz, fortified Kosher wine), Lady M hoisted a Mazel Tov Cocktail (3 ounces Manischewitz, 1 1/2  6 ounces Gin, twist of lime). How cool is that?

mazeltov_cocktailMazel Tov!


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Cross-Posted on Patriot Action Network