you are what you et

· Hellmouth

I had to wonder, hearing that George W. was going to dine with the president of France on his European “friendship tour,” whether he managed to spit his escargot into his napkin like a good patriot. This was because I had just read Deanna Swift’s Feb. 7 report on the recent departure of Walter Scheib 3rd, the White House chef. She described how he had been tasked with what can only be described as an Iron Chef’s nightmare: prepare an Inaugural banquet using America’s top junk foods. And I do mean donuts, pretzels, soda pop, and beer. It’s a wonder the fish course wasn’t in stick form (it was a Pacific salmon–albeit doused in canned fruit).
Far from sticking to the guidelines of the recently revamped USDA food “pyramid,” this menu looked like a junk foodie’s dream. Except perhaps for the “Safeway” greens–whatever those are. Each trademarked ingredient used to prepare the four-course meal was suggested by a “Pioneer” or “Ranger” Republican party superdonor attending the banquet. The ingredients just happened to be some of the products their corporations manufacture.
But the real problem at the White House was not the chef’s imagined reluctance (perhaps disgust?) at having to prepare such a ghastly assortment of faux food. It was his “french style” training. And I don’t mean fries. Apparently “sauce” is just another word for “non-Iraqi ally.” For a more appropriately educated cook perhaps the ol’ W.H. could resurrect the Colonel. Barring such a miracle I suppose anyone with a Betty Crocker cookbook and a box full of coupons will do. Don’t get me wrong. I grew up on Betty’s recipes. It’s just that canned pineapple and frozen peas are getting expensive these days. And I learned to peel the fruit and shuck the peas myself.
The truly unbelievable part of this story is that those capitalist kingpins paid for such a meal. And the redeeming part is that they had to eat it.