Bush/Kerry recipe ideas, please!
October 12, 2004 4:34 PM   Subscribe

Bush Food and Kerry Food: Any ideas for a light-hearted Election Night buffet and cocktail party? [More inside.]

Whenever there's a thrilling election, we usually invite our American and Americanophile friends over for nibbles and drinks. On November 2 I'd like to have two separate tables - red and blue, natch - where one was Republican, Texan and "country" and the other Democrat, NYC/Californian and "cosmopolitan".

Although only one of our dozen guests is open to voting Bush, we'd like the two balconies to be amusingly representative but - here's the rub - also genuinely American. As it's just a little party in Lisbon, intended to give pleasure rather than make points, with no political overtones, I'd appreciate serving suggestions which would be unobtrusive but smart and funny.

The rough idea here is that Bush food would be hearty and crude but "American", whilst Kerry food would be sophisticated but "European". Equally (noting the contradiction), Republican food is seen as more popular and easier-to-like than the more urban and trendy delicacies of the Democrats. I'm sure this is not the case. (For instance, is so-called soul food more Republican or Democratic?)

Please bear in mind there will be no cooks present, so all snacks and foods will have to be prepared beforehand and laid out, so that guests can graze at will while watching TV and fraternizing.

It's all intended for fun but both tables should be equally appealing. Please forget Bush stopped drinking and concentrate on the larger issues, such as wine being perhaps more Democratic and martinis more Republican. Not to mention on what table beer should be served...

Thank you for any ideas you might offer!
posted by MiguelCardoso to Food & Drink (32 answers total)
Since both men were in the same Yale fertility, have a division in the beer selection. Let the cocktails be democratic, as in USA freedom of choice.
Bush - Budweiser (biggest seller in Texas & 51% percent of the world market, so they say)
Kerry – Samuel Adams, Boston Beer Co.

Food – Kerry has the condiments locked up, dishes or finger foods that specifically need Heinz 57 (there are more than 57 today, yet that is where the 57 was derived from) sauces to compliment them.
The obvious for Bush, pretzels (think since Frito Lay is in Dallas, these may have been the ones he choked on.)
posted by thomcatspike at 5:03 PM on October 12, 2004

The rough idea here is that Bush food would be hearty and crude but "American", whilst Kerry food would be sophisticated but "European".

Don't forget burgers and fries for John Edwards. Each year, Edwards and his wife celebrate their wedding anniversary by eating out at Wendy's, as it was the only place they could afford to eat following their nuptuals.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:04 PM on October 12, 2004

What, no Heinz ketchup on the Kerry table?

(sorry, had to ask, I know that wrecks your theme Miguel).
posted by contessa at 5:06 PM on October 12, 2004

Actually, now that I'm mulling over this idea, I have to take issue with the Republican = hearty / Democrat = sophisticated idea. Keep in mind that the 'regular joe' persona put on by Bush is the result of a good deal of fakerizing and it's a recent phenomenon (contrast the Carter and Reagan white houses and you'll see what I mean). In order to cast Kerry as his opposite, the Bush camp sets out to make Kerry seem overly efette.
posted by contessa at 5:15 PM on October 12, 2004

For the Bush table: Barbecue ribs, cheesey-salsa with tortilla chips, hot dogs with beans and chili, red white and blue cupcakes.

For the Kerry table: California sushi rolls, artichokes in pastry, grilled asparagus crepes, stuffed mushrooms, individual fruit tarts.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:22 PM on October 12, 2004

Dammit I posted before I meant to. I actually had a point here...

Anyway. Recent phenomenon. Also think "common man" Clinton too, vs Kennebunkport Bush Sr. It's all put on, this man-of-the-people Bush act.

However, if you're devoted to the theme as you see it, I'd do:

Bush table: cheap American beer (Bud), chili or nachos or some other heart-clogging food, potato chips.

Kerry table: microbrew or european beer, hummus/pita, brie, artichokes or some other difficult-to-eat delicacy.
posted by contessa at 5:25 PM on October 12, 2004

posted by sad_otter at 5:39 PM on October 12, 2004

thomcatspike - Bush and Kerry were in the same Yale what now?
posted by Guy Smiley at 5:40 PM on October 12, 2004

Bush table: beef stew.
Kerry table: boeuf bourguignon.
posted by kenko at 5:42 PM on October 12, 2004

Red table gets bourbon and Bud, or Coors if you can get such nasty swill bad beer in Portugal. Blue table gets vodka-based cocktails, wine, and microbrews.

Food is harder, as contessa rightly points out. Red table gets buffalo wings. Maybe some of those deep-fried jalapeno peppers stuffed with cream cheese. If you really want hearty, tuna hotdish with potato chips crumbled on top. Blue table gets california rolls, a nice variety of French cheese, maybe some charcuterie to play up the French bit.

Oh, and red table- pretzels.
posted by ambrosia at 5:45 PM on October 12, 2004

Oh, and a Philly cheesesteak with Swiss cheese for the Kerry table.
posted by Guy Smiley at 5:45 PM on October 12, 2004

A friend of mine is doing something similar, although he is choosing food by region rather than class.
-New England-type food for the Kerry table - clam chowder, boston baked beans, lobster salad, Sam Adams beer
-Texas-type food for Bush - chili, Barbecue, chips and salsa, Lone Star Beer, etc.
posted by FreezBoy at 5:50 PM on October 12, 2004

I go with the Bud on Bush's table, and pork rinds if you can find them. Preferably BBQ flavor. I will also add that you NEED Frito Pie on the Bush table, and lemonade. My sister met 41 on a shoot for Major League Baseball, and Barbara insisted on serving lemonade to all of the people that tromped into the office- the baseball players, the cameraman, the sound guy, and my sister the producer.

As for Kerry, I agree that Samel Adams might be nice, as well as Champagne, clam chowder, cheeses and fruits, a second for the sushi and aspargus, and possibly a few Portgese dishes, as Teresa is of Portugese anscestry herself. Might play nicely into that whole multicultural thing the Democrats were so into at theur convention.
posted by oflinkey at 5:59 PM on October 12, 2004

Response by poster: Many thanks, though I distinctly get the impression the Red Table is somehow rigged towards choking episodes and artery-clogged heart attacks while the Blue Table is whiffy and enticing but only marginally American. This is in itself an entertaining theme but I wonder whether, buffet-wise, the result will be a desert-like Red Table filled with congealed fat and lousy beer and a much-disputed Blue Table picked clean of all its alluring deli treats. Ideally, both tables would be equally enticing...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:11 PM on October 12, 2004

You could also set up a FOX News table, served with capers and tripe.
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:30 PM on October 12, 2004

This site shows which brands people identify with each candidate.
posted by Tallguy at 6:39 PM on October 12, 2004

Well, both get fries, but Kerry gets ketchup and Bush gets barbeque sauce for the dip.

For salads, Bush gets Ranch and Kerry gets French (well, or a vinaigrette if you want to be more realistic and less punny ;) ).
posted by abcde at 6:43 PM on October 12, 2004

Come now, AskMe. Surely someone must suggest Freedom Fries(r) for the Bush table!
posted by stet at 6:43 PM on October 12, 2004

Wouldn't the FOX table also need a single leaf of lettuce hidden away somewhere in the corner? Fair and balanced and all that.

I'm not sure the pretzels should be on the Republican table, they don't seem to agree with Bush very well.

The whole 57 varieties thing on Heinz bottles was just an "it looks good" thing, the number itsself was pretty much arbitrary.
posted by fvw at 6:50 PM on October 12, 2004

Don't forget broccoli for the Bush table (he reputedly hates it, won't eat it.) If you really want to ugly-Americanize it, coat it with melted Velveeta (do they even have Velveeta in the place where you are? For your sake I hope not.)
posted by ikkyu2 at 7:27 PM on October 12, 2004

Weiners for both tables.
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:51 PM on October 12, 2004

Hard right hot wings vs. liberal wieners.
posted by planetkyoto at 8:07 PM on October 12, 2004

Don't forget the freedom fries!

And of course there's the famous Kerry cheesesteak with swiss cheese. (blech.)
posted by spilon at 8:40 PM on October 12, 2004

Maybe the way to make the Bush table more enticing is to make really good Tex-Mex food, instead of the obvious heart-clutchers: a fajita bar with lots of good grilled vegetables and lean meats prepared in advance and kept warm for your guests on heated serving trays, and a selection of roasted peppers; I'm partial to the sweet mildness of poblanos, myself, but you might want something more intemperate to represent the President. Some of the recipes here look pretty good, but not all: the "Mexican hot chocolate" is a low-fat travesty. I love the idea of a nice warm pot of this iinstead. You can use more of the chocolate to make a delicious mole to serve over grilled chicken or beef. This recipe looks divine; it might be too elaborate for your purposes, but you could make the sauce and serve it over plainly grilled meat. You can prepare some tamales well ahead and they'll keep very well.

Serve with Tecate and a high-quality tequila, to pay homage to Bush's former career as a drinking man.

As for Kerry, well, you if you want to be witty and European about it, I would feel like a kitten telling a well-seasoned tomcat how to get around with the lady cats were I to offer my advice, so I'll leave you to your own considerable devices.
posted by melissa may at 8:51 PM on October 12, 2004

Since you're not a US Citizen, and our vote is your entertainment, please send a pay-per-view fee to me--I'll pass it along to the US Treasury.

Pizza wins, hands down as American food. And Diet Coke. And be sure that all the chips are smuggled-in GMO grain, avec olestra! And some Doritos--ick!
posted by ParisParamus at 8:55 PM on October 12, 2004

Don't forget broccoli for the Bush table (he reputedly hates it, won't eat it.)

That was G.H.W. Bush, not G.W.
posted by Dreama at 9:37 PM on October 12, 2004

On Broccoli: "I like the tops but not the stalks" - George W. Bush (.avi)
posted by Guy Smiley at 10:24 PM on October 12, 2004

Lobster vs. Chili. If you need a recipe for the latter, Migs, email me.
posted by notsnot at 10:32 PM on October 12, 2004

For the Kerry table, New England Clam Bake (more than just clams here)! And if you want a meat dish, perhaps some Cranberry Pot Roast. For the Bush table, barbecued ribs and stuffed potatoes (for a fish dish here, Grilled Texas Shrimp. For both tables, crudite of celery, carrots, cucumbers, peppers etc, with Guacamole and Mexican dip on the Bush side and artichoke dip, crab dip, or bleu cheese spread on the Kerry side.

For dessert, Apple Pie on the red table, and Boston Cream Pie on the blue. For the drinks, just serve nice wines and champagne on the blue, and a selection of beers and tequila shots or margaritas on the red.
posted by taz at 10:56 PM on October 12, 2004

How about some Cowboy Cookies? Or a "Smoked Turkey Freedom Fowl"?

And you can't forget Famly Circle's 2004 Election Cookie Cookoff.
posted by armage at 7:32 AM on October 13, 2004

fertility,, whoops wrong word in SpChk
College Fraternity. Thought it was recently reported that they are distantly related tho;P
posted by thomcatspike at 10:30 AM on October 13, 2004

I can't believe nobody's said this yet... Pork! On both tables! And nuts!
Speaking of which, it's about time for another chocolate and peanut swap, isn't it?
posted by Alylex at 5:45 PM on October 14, 2004

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