During one of the many stops on his culinary odyssey through Ohio and Pennsylvania, President Obama shared his dessert of a slice of whipped cream-topped Strawberry Pie with a young boy at the end of his lunch on Thursday at Kozy Corners restaurant in Oak Harbor, Ohio. The sweet moment went undocumented by the press: It occurred after the President's pool was ushered out of the eatery, before dessert was served. But the photo, above, of the boy digging into the Presidential pie as Mr. Obama, fork in hand, looks on, was posted on the Obama campaign's 'Betting on America' bus tour blog.
President Obama was served the freshly-made pie after enjoying a cheeseburger, French fries and iced tea while seated with former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, a national campaign co-chair (the boy in the photo was not identified by name, and Strickland is out of the frame). Pie is the President's favorite dessert, according to White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses. Among Mr. Obama's top two faves: Banana Cream and Sweet Potato Pie. The White House has released recipes for Yosses' Rhubarb Strawberry Crumble Pie and for Apple Pie and for Key Lime Pie.
"I'm going to eat my burger," the President said to the other Kozy Corners lunch patrons as he prepared to dig in. "And everybody just pretend like I'm not here." That's when the press pool was dismissed.
Ignoring the President was not possible, of course. On Friday, the President actually purchased an Apple Pie during a visit to Kretchmar's Bakery in Beaver, Pennsylvania; the visit is memorialized today as Photo of the Day on the White House blog.
Later on Friday, the President discussed his edible adventures while rolling through the rustbelt, telling two different crowds of supporters that "I’ve been eating a lot."
"People have been commenting I need to gain some weight," he said, later adding "I’m skinny, but I’m tough. I am."
The President's eat n' greet at Kozy Corners lasted more than an hour and a half; he arrived at 1:15 PM, and was back on the road aboard Ground Force One by 2:55 PM. His mingling with the locals including chatting with some white-haired ladies betting on a floating pinochle game in the restaurant, and discussing hair product with a little boy with dyed blue hair. (Above: Shaking hands in the restaurant)
"Tell the truth, the national press is here," the President said to the betting ladies. "Are you playing for money?"
They laughed and demurred, before confessing they might play for "a dollar or a quarter."
The President also offered marital advice to one patron, who was seated with his wife.
"Just do whatever she tells you to," President Obama said.
On Thursday in Ohio, the Eater in Chief made three "unscheduled" stops for food and drink: In the evening, he enjoyed a Bud Light with new friends at Ziggy's Bar & Restaurant in Amherst. Earlier in the day he stopped at Kozy Corners restaurant in Oak Harbor for a cheeseburger and Fries lunch, topped off with a slice of strawberry pie. That was followed by a stop for a rare purchase of local produce at Bergman Orchards Farm Market in Port Clinton, where the President bought sweet corn, cherries and peaches. A scheduled afternoon campaign event in Ohio, in Sandusky, included an ice cream social.
On Friday morning in Ohio, the President ate breakfast at Ann's Place, a diner in Akron. Sitting at the counter with three Goodyear employees, the President enjoyed two eggs over medium, with a side of bacon, wheat toast and grits. Owner Josephine 'Ann' Harris died shortly after she met the President, and he later phoned his condolences. After that outing, he stopped at Summer Garden Food Manufacturing in Boardman, to get a look at the private-label pasta sauce operation. He left with samples.
The President returned to the White House on Friday afternoon, and spent the weekend at Camp David in Maryland, returning to Washington on Sunday morning.
Click here for all posts about the President's bus trip.
*Photos by Obama for America