Despite the long history of White House Thanksgiving traditions and a 1789 call by George Washington to make November 26 a national day of “public thanksgiving,” it was not until the 1840s that Thanksgiving dinner was first served there, under James K. Polk’s administration. Since then, each passing First Family has altered and added to those traditions with their unique contributions of food preferences and customs. For example, Harry S. Truman started the annual White House tradition of pardoning a turkey before Thanksgiving.
Michelle Obama has said that the First Family is particularly fond of sweet potatoes, so in honor of the Obamas’ third Thanksgiving in office, we’re offering up a delicious and healthy recipe for White House Whipped Sweet Potatoes. The recipe was enjoyed by the Obamas and around 50 guests in 2009, and is featured in “A White House Garden Cookbook: Healthy Ideas from the First Family for Your Family” by Clara Silverstein. Readers can learn more about the book and how Thanksgiving is celebrated at the White House by visiting www.CommunityGardenRecipes.com.
The book includes other Thanksgiving recipes from the White House and community gardens around the country, such as Fennel-Parsnip Puree, Pear & Fennel Salad, Kohlrabi & Carrot Stew, Tasty Greens with Turnips, Baby Carrots with Orange Juice & Cinnamon, Nutty Carrot & Cabbage Salad, various salsas, White House Baked Sliced Apples, and White House Apple Pie.
White House Whipped Sweet Potatoes
- 3 medium (12 to 16 ounces each) sweet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon chili powder
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 4 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Salt to taste
1. Set the oven at 425 degrees.
2. Wash the potatoes, pat dry, and wrap each one in foil. Place on a baking sheet and bake until soft all the way through, approximately one hour cooking time will vary depending on the size of he potatoes).
3. Remove the potatoes from the oven. Unwrap the foil and allow them to cool enough to handle.
4. Cut each potato in half. Scoop out the inside and place in a large mixing bowl.
5. Add the butter, cinnamon, cumin, chili powder, cloves, orange juice, and lemon juice. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment on medium speed, whip the potatoes until smooth and all the ingredients are incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes.
6. Add the salt and serve.
For more information or high-res images, please contact Dan Kleinman at the information below.