Yum! White House dishes up menu for Trump administration’s first state dinner

unnamed(8)We’ll bypass some of the other details about President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump’s first state dinner, but we’ll share the menu for political junkies who are also foodies.

The first course will include goat cheese gateau and buttermilk biscuit crumbles.

For the main course, rack of spring lamb and Carolina gold rice jambalaya, “which will be cooked in a New Orleans tradition and scented with the trinity of Cajun cooking—celery, peppers, and onions, and spiced with herbs from the South Lawn,” according to a press release from the White House. For dessert, a nectarine tart.

The Trumps are hosting President Emmanuel Macron and Mrs. Brigitte Macron of France for the administration’s first state visit.

Sadly, details about the guest list and Melania Trump’s gown won’t be released until just before the dinner begins, according to a release.

But what the first couples will be sampling tomorrow night:

State Dinner

The color scheme is cream and gold and the china settings consist of the Clinton china for the baseplate, along with both Bush (43) and Clinton china for the dinner service.  The First Lady chose the Bush china with the green color palette to complement the spring green and white flowers that will be featured in the State Dining Room.  Mrs. Trump has also selected pieces from the extensive Vermeil collection as well as American Silver from the White House Collection—from Tiffany & Co. and S. Kirk & Sons—to add to the décor in the State Dining Room.

Entertainment

Washington National Opera from the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts

 Floral Arrangements

The Cross Hall will feature over 1,200 branches of cherry blossom, all grown in the United States.

 The State Dining Room will feature more than 2,500 stems of white sweet peas and nearly 1,000 stems of white lilac—both California and Dutch grown mixed. 

 The parlors will feature a variety of mixed garden flowers.  The Stephanotis vines, which will also be featured in the parlors, are from California.

 Menu

The menu will be a showcase of the best of America’s cuisines and traditions, with nuances of French influences prepared by the renowned White House Executive Chef, Christeta Comerford (a full menu can be found at the bottom of the release).

 The first course celebrates the wondrous first harvest of spring, using greens from the White House kitchen garden.

The main course will  be a Rack of Spring Lamb and Carolina Gold Rice Jambalaya, which will be cooked in a New Orleans tradition and scented with the trinity of Cajun cooking—celery, peppers, and onions, and spiced with herbs from the South Lawn. 

Dessert will be a Nectarine Tart infused with White House honey and accented by crème fraîche ice cream.

 Wines

The wines were selected to complement the menu and embody the historic friendship between the United States and France, which dates back to the American Revolution.

 The Domaine Serene Chardonnay “Evenstad Reserve” 2015 is the product of American and French collaboration—a combination of French plants from Dijon that thrive in the volcanic Oregon soil and colder temperatures.  The wine was aged in 40 percent French oak barrels for more than 12 months.

The Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir “Laurène” 2014—This wine uses the motto “French soul–Oregon soil.” The grapes at Domaine Drouhin are harvested and sorted by hand and fermented in French Oak barrels.

 Schramsberg Demi-Sec “Crémant” has been served in the White House for official and ceremonial events many times over the years.  The subtle sweetness and creamy effervescence of the 2014 vintage is the perfect accompaniment for a nectarine tart. 

Full Menu:

First Course:

Goat Cheese Gateau

Tomato Jam

Buttermilk Biscuit Crumbles

Young Variegated Lettuces 

Main Course:

Rack of Spring Lamb

Burnt Cipollini Soubise

Carolina Gold Rice Jambalaya 

Dessert:

Nectarine Tart

Crème Fraîche Ice Cream

Adam “Florida First” Putnam launches first campaign ad

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is releasing his first ad as the GOP primary battle to replace Gov. Rick Scott heats up.

The one-minute ad — an expensive buy, compared to the typical 30-second spot — started airing this week, according to a press release from Putnam’s campaign.

“For me, it’s always been Florida first,” Putnam, a fifth-generation Floridian whose family made a fortune in the cattle and citrus industry.

The week-long buy — on broadcast, cable and satellite — totaled about $630,000, according to advertising monitoring companies, and will run just about everywhere in Florida except the Miami market.

The ad features Putnam praying with his family, working on his ranch and appearing at a rally when he announced his bid for governor.

Putnam’s facing off against Congressman Ron DeSantis, a conservative darling who’s got the love of President Donald Trump and who appears to have taken a second job working for Fox News, where the Palm Coast Republican is making nearly daily appearances.

In the ad, Putnam takes a swipe at “liberal elites,” and talks about his “faith, responsibility, perseverance and hard work.”

“Today, those values are missing. Even looked down on by liberal elites. I’ve spent my life fighting back. And as your Governor, I won’t back down,” he says. “Together, we will put Florida First and make Florida the launch pad for the American Dream.”

House Speaker Richard Corcoran is reportedly mulling whether to enter the race.

NRA supporters hot and bothered over YETI coolers

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The picture sums up what National Rifle Association supporters think of YETI, the maker of spendy coolers that we’re pretty certain weren’t designed for the repurpose captured above.

It’s all part of the #BoycottYETI movement launched over the Texas-based company said it no longer wanted to be a vendor for the NRA Foundation.

The high-dollar coolers were a huge hit at NRA Foundation banquets and auctions throughout the country, according to an alert sent out by NRA Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer, a onetime president of the national gun-rights group.

The foundation events “raise money to support youth programs and education programs nationwide,” Hammer wrote in the alert.

“The youth of America who benefit from these programs are the future hunters, hikers, fishermen/women, bikers, campers, wildlife photographers, mountain climbers, sportsmen/women and conservationists who will protect our natural resources and recreational lands,” according to Hammer.

Here are a few more samples of the reaction to YETI’s decision:

 

Gillum releases digital ad, “Opportunity”

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a Democrat running for governor, released a five-figure digital ad, “Opportunity,” according to Gillum’s campaign.

“Were it not for a good public education, caring and loving parents, a grandmother who prayed for me and quite frankly people who believed in me enough to say that I could, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today,” Gillum says in the 30-second spot. “And I plan to work as hard as I can every day, if given the opportunity, to make sure that every child has that same opportunity.”

Gillum’s facing off against former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, Orlando entrepreneur Chris King and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, who’s dumped upwards of $6 million on television ads thus far.

This from a press release issued by Gillum’s campaign spokesman, Geoff Burgan:

“Andrew is the only candidate in this race who truly understands what everyday Floridians need: a strong public education, a good-paying job, and a state that values its everyday people over its well-heeled and well-connected. “Opportunity” showcases Andrew’s compelling personal story and highlights the areas that a Governor Gillum will pursue.”

 

Now Hammer’s set her sights on YETI

L_Main_Blue_F_Up_Expanded_Tundra_RoadieThe National Rifle Association is targeting YETI after the Texas-based maker of high-dollar cups and coolers dropped its sponsorship of the Friends of NRA Foundation Banquet and Auction events around the country, according to an alert issued by NRA Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer today.

The YETI coolers “have been a hot item for sportsmen” at the events for years, according to Hammer’s alert.

“Suddenly, without prior notice, YETI has declined to do business with The NRA Foundation saying they no longer wish to be an NRA vendor, and refused to say why.  They will only say they will no longer sell products to The NRA Foundation.  That certainly isn’t sportsmanlike. In fact, YETI should be ashamed.  They have declined to continue helping America’s young people enjoy outdoor recreational activities.  These activities enable them to appreciate America and enjoy our natural resources with wholesome and healthy outdoor recreational and educational programs,” the alert reads. “In this day and age, information is power.  We thought you needed this information.”

The NRA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization, according to the alert, which also includes a link to YETI’s online contact service.

Marijuana patient database hits 100,000 mark on 4/20 day. Coincidence?

purple bud.JPGAccording to Sigmund Freud, accidents don’t exist.

So how to explain the state’s medical marijuana patient database hitting the magical 100,000 mark on 4/20, better known as “weed day” among acolytes of the Grateful Dead, Phish and whoever else pot aficionados are listening to these days. (We could give you the soundtrack to our cloudy college days, but we’ll spare you.)

Whether it’s a coincidence or not, Florida patients may have as much to mourn as to celebrate.

The state’s pot czar, Christian Bax, and his troupe have yet to finalize rules regulating the state’s rapidly growing pot industry.

But, worse yet, major marijuana-related lawsuits — including one initiated by Amendment 2 big daddy John Morgan — have a long way to go before they’re settled.

Morgan’s suit, which features marijuana patient-icon Cathy Jordan as a plaintiff, challenges a state law passed last year that bans patients like Jordan from smoking cannabis. Vaping makes Jordan, who has ALS, gag, and her doctors have recommended smoking as the best route of administration.

Meanwhile, Tampa strip club owner Joe Redner — who revolutionized the “gentleman’s club” industry in Florida — won a victory from Tallahassee Judge Karen Gievers, who gave the 77-year-old lung cancer survivor permission to grow his own weed for juicing purposes.

Redner’s doc says that eight ounces of whole plant juice daily — which would take about three pounds of raw plant material, or about 40 plants in varying stages of growth — is the best way for his patient to keep his cancer in remission.

The state quickly appealed Gievers’s decision, and it’s unknown whether the appellate court will let him move forward while the case is under appeal.

The legal challenges are only a few of the issues facing the pot industry. Medical marijuana purveyors are having a hard time finding retail locales to ply their wares, and some in the industry are complaining there aren’t enough doctors to handling a quickly growing patient base.

But, hey, it’s 4/20 day, so, sit back, crank up whatever, and chill.

Constitution revision member defends amendment bundling

img_7758-2Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, an appointee of fellow Martin County resident Senate President Joe Negron to the Constitution Revision Commission, defended the bundling of topics in six of the eight amendments the 37-member panel agreed this week to put before voters in November.

On her blog, the former Sewall’s Point mayor called it “a good thing” to roll some topics — such as oil drilling and vaping, or death benefits for first responders and university student fees — into single-ballot proposals.

“You may have read a plethora of articles on the completed work of the 2018 Constitution Revision Commission and thought to yourself, ‘What!?'” Thurlow-Lippisch wrote.

Six amendments “are grouped and related,” she added.

“Although for many, controversial, in my opinion, this is a good thing, perfectly legal, and we all know this was done by both former CRCs,” she went on.

Thurlow-Lippisch was behind the offshore drilling ban, which was linked with a ban on electric cigarettes, in what is expected to become Amendment 9 on the ballot.

 The Florida Petroleum Council has already expressed its opposition to the drilling ban proposal, calling it “bizarre and “surreal” that it was linked to the anti-vaping in the workplace measure.

Thurlow-Lippisch was unable to move some of her more ambitious proposals, including one measure crushed by business and agriculture groups, in which she sought to redefine legal standing for Floridians on environmental issues.

By Jim Turner.