Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Turkey Has Landed

On his first Thanksgiving in the White House, November 27, 1969, President Nixon told a group of senior citizens, “In our family we always had Thanksgiving as a family day. We have in the past, and we do now. Our parents cannot be here now, but we wanted people who have been with this Nation for so many years, who have lived good lives, to be here as our guests today. We feel that you are part of our family and we invite you here as part of our family, The White House family, the American family."

"You have seen the menu. It is the usual, of course. Turkey and all the things that go with it, and pumpkin pie for dessert. Seeing turkey on the menu reminds me that when this country began, Benjamin Franklin argued that the National Bird should be a turkey rather than an eagle. Now, I think he was a very wise man, but the final decision to have the eagle was a better one. When Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, it would have sounded rather funny to say, 'The turkey has landed.' And today I think you will all agree you would not want to eat eagle."

Would you like to have an authentic Nixon Family Thanksgiving Dinner? The Republican Cookbook, with Recipes for Political Success," The Brownstone Press, Inc., 1969 lists the following:

Mrs. Nixon’s Thanksgiving Dinner Menu
Crabmeat bisque
(served with corn sticks)
Roast turkey with celery dressing
Candied sweet potatoes
Tiny onions in cream
Fresh broccoli with lemon butter
Mold of fresh cranberry jelly
Iced celery and black olives
Sage biscuits
Pumpkin pie
Here are some of Mrs. Nixon's recipes for you to try:

1 cup fresh, lump crab meat
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup cream
Saute’ shallots in butter until soft. (Do not brown.) Add flour and stir until mixture is very smooth and flour is well cooked but not browned. Add crab meat and stir. Add milk, salt paprika, and cream and cook over very low heat until thickened. Keep warm by letting stand over hot water. If desired, the bisque may be garnished with finely chopped chives. Serves six.
1 quart dry bread crumbs. (Lightly toast slices or chunks of dry bread and crumble)
¼ cup melted butter
½ teaspoon celery salt
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
½ tablespoon poultry seasoning
¾ cup finely chopped onion
1 cup diced celery
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 egg
Mix all ingredients except the egg in a large bowl. Beat the egg and fold into the dressing mixture. If a moist dressing is preferred, add cold water a few drops at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Stuff the turkey with the dressing or bake in a buttered casserole until brown.

1 ½ cups cooked canned pumpkin (If home cooked, put through strainer)
1 ½ cups cream
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup white granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup dark corn syrup
4 eggs slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 nine-inch unbaked pie shell
Combine brown sugar, white sugar, salt, cinnamon, and ground cloves. Alternately stir small amounts of cream and the dry mixture into the pumpkin until the whole mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in syrup, eggs, and vanilla. Pour pumpkin mixture into unbaked pie shell and bake in preheated 450 degree oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake pie until firm or until silver knife, inserted into center of pie, comes out clean. Cool and serve with whipped cream.

Today, we are just like those senior citizens in 1969, invited to share Thanksgiving traditions with the Nixon Legacy, represented here at the Richard Nixon Presidential Foundation. All of us here, and especially the Walker family, wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving.
We plan to spend the holiday counting our many blessings and enjoying a delicious turkey dinner. Our blessings include the many friendships and opportunities we enjoy because of the Nixon family, and the many doors they opened for us. May God continue to Bless America and give our leaders wisdom. . . . and may God Bless all of you.

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