President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, accompanied by family, friends, and staff, are celebrating Thanksgiving at the White House, following a big day of pre-holiday activity on Wednesday.
This morning, President Obama called ten members of the armed services - two from each the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy - deployed in support of Operation New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom. According to the White House, the President thanked each of them for their service and sacrifice and wished them and their families a Happy Thanksgiving. The President also released an early weekly video address for Thanksgiving that honors the armed forces, "Giving Thanks For Those Who Serve." It's below. (Above: The President in the Oval Office today, making phone calls to troops)
"Don't worry about how much you eat. Just enjoy it," Mrs. Obama told Barbara Walters in a special Thanksgiving interview that will air Friday. "This is the time. Have pie. Eat dressing."
There's plenty of pie on the Obama Thanksgiving menu, which is traditional and All American. It is just like last year's menu--in fact, it's the same menu the White House released in 2009, minus the words "honey baked" in front of "ham." The feast has a show-stopping ending that feature six different kinds of pie for dessert, including Apple, Banana Cream, Cherry, Huckleberry, Sweet Potato, and Pumpkin. Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses' reputation as the "Crustmaster" lives on, as does the Obama affection for Sweet Potatoes, which grew to gigantic proportion this year in Mrs. Obama's Kitchen Garden. They're featured in the non-dessert portion of the menu, too. But it's Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford who has the recipe for Sweet Potato Pie; her dazzling creation, topped with a honey meringue, helped her win Iron Chef America. The recipe is here.
The Obama Family White House Thanksgiving Menu 2010
Green Bean Casserole
Macaroni and Cheese
Sweet Potato Pie
Banana Cream Pie
An East Wing spokesman declined to specify exactly which White House chefs are on cooking duty today. The White House guest list includes President Obama's half sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng and her husband, Konrad Ng, and their two daughters, Suhaila and Savita.
On Wednesday, there was the Presidential Turkey Pardon for the National Turkey, Apple, and his "feathery understudy," Cider, and the First Family also performed holiday community service at DC food pantry Martha's Table. Mrs. Obama sent out a special Thanksgiving Message via e mail. UPDATE, Nov. 26: How understudy turkey Cider spent the ceremony is here. (Above, Apple, the National Turkey)
Today, the President's supporters received a Thanksgiving e mail from him, from BarackObama.com.
“Everything we have been able to accomplish in the last two years was possible because you have been willing to work for it and organize for it,” the President wrote.
President Obama's Thanksgiving address, "Giving Thanks For Those Who Serve:"
Related: The Obama Thanksgiving 2010 is Deja Vu for 2009, down to the photo release of the President making calls to troops; a post with links to all Obama Thanksgiving 2009 activities is here. The full transcript of President Obama's remarks at the 2010 Turkey Pardon is here. President Obama's 2010 Thanksgiving Proclamation is here. In advance of Thanksgiving, President Obama proclaimed Nov. 19-25 National Farm-City Week, to honor the farmers and ranchers who raise all of America's food, from livestock to crops.
*Photo by Pete Souza/White House; White House video