I was beyond honored to have been invited to the White House on December 9 to celebrate the holiday of Hanukkah (#WHHanukkah) with Jewish movers and shakers from across the country at a party and ceremony hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. (You can read more about the two parties - I was at the later one - here in Jewish Insider, and read my full, napkin-laden report here in the Jewish Journal. And watch this video uploaded by Jason Miller.)
In advance of my departure for DC, I asked my friends: was there anything they wanted to know about the experience? Here are some of those questions and the answers, divided into three categories: Latkes and other food-related questions, POTUS & FLOTUS, and miscellaneous.
Latkes and other food-related questions
How are the latkes? Is the president having apple sauce with his latkes? Sour cream? Sugar? But really, how are the latkes? Does the DC water make it like NY water does for pizza? How many latkes did you think you'd eat and how many did you really eat? I am really curious if there is kosher caviar and good Russian toppings for the latkes.
I'm hearing that some of you are curious about the latkes. The President didn't really eat with us, or open the event to a Q & A , so I don't know his personal preference, but there were latkes. They were small, almost like cocktail latkes, and tasted a little sweeter than expected. I probably ate four of them. Caviar isn't on my radar, so if it was there, I didn't notice it. And because it was a meat meal, there was applesauce, not sour cream. But if it satisfies your Yiddish curiosity, POTUS pronounces "latkes" more like "laat-kissss."
How are the sufganiyot?
Absent. At least I didn't see any. I took what I thought might be a sufganiya, but it turned out to be a mini-baked apple. Very delicious by the way, but not a jelly donut.