Baltimore burns while Barack Obama drinks sake

Rome might not be burning, but Baltimore sure is, and if partying in the midst of a crisis could be considered fiddling, President Obama would be quite the fiddler indeed.

Just one month after Michelle Obama visited Japan, lunched on an ornate bento box and wailed away on the Taiko drums like “Mr. Bongo” Jack Costanzo, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie Abe, were guests of honor at the White House’s eighth state dinner.

As journalists in Baltimore suffered broken bones, bloodied lips, and muggings, glittering groups of elite guests dressed in black tie arrived in limos.  And what a celebration the evening turned out to be.

Cascades of pink cherry blossoms and orchids abounded.  In fact, cherry blossoms graced everything from the red chopsticks to the table’s centerpieces.  If only Laura Dowling, the head florist who was suddenly and dramatically escorted from the White House back in March, were there to supervise, surely the first lady would have been honored with a flotilla of F-Lotus blossoms.

Celebrity Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto joined the White House staff in the kitchen, and under the pink twinkling lights, to the delight of all the guests, the new “Kailua blue” Hawaii-inspired china was unveiled. 

Meanwhile, as Barack Obama recited a haiku, in Baltimore, reporters and cameramen were dodging bricks and broken glass while police in riot gear tried to hold back angry rioters.

As firefighters battled the work of arsonists in West Baltimore, the first course of Toro Tartare and Caesar Sashimi Salad wrapped in clear acetate and tied with a Mizuhiki cord was served right on time.

Luckily, neither feast nor appetites were affected by the 15 police officers injured in the riots, nor were the festivities negatively impacted by Maryland governor Larry Hogan declaring a state of emergency and activating 2,000 National Guardsmen.

In fact, at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, when the second course of Vegetable Consommé En Croute and Shikai Maki arrived, according to White House state dinner watchers the focus was not on why 1,000 Baltimore police officers were being told to “stand down” by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake; it was on paying homage to Michelle’s kitchen garden.‎

Displaying an unprecedented level of sensitivity to the plight of joblessness and poverty that the president implied earlier in the day are partially responsible for the violence in Baltimore, instead of serving Japanese Kobe beef, which sells for $300 per pound in Japan, the main course was American Wagyu Beef Tenderloin, which sells for a much more affordable $137 per pound in the U.S. 

The Wagyu paired with Spring Vegetables and Maui Onion Veal Jus had to be pure perfection.

For dessert, new executive pastry chef Susan Morrison threw together a blown-sugar teapot decorated with edible cherry blossoms and surrounded by petit fours, and for the dairy/gluten intolerant in the house, Morrison unveiled a cheesecake made of silken tofu and soy milk that she served with Florida berries and White House honey.

Despite burning police cruisers and pillaged taverns and liquor stores, the state dinner included American wines from California and a sake toast, which should have been dedicated to Toya Graham, the badass “Mom of the Year” who was captured on video clobbering her hoodie-wearing son for participating in the Baltimore riots.

From a state in close proximity to where people were disregarding the 10:00 pm curfew that police in riot gear were trying desperately to enforce, and as smoke grenades ignited in the streets of Baltimore, the stars of the film Jersey Boys entertained Mr. and Mrs. Obama’s guests.

All in all, and considering what was going on just 35 miles away, the evening was a – pardon the pun – smashing success.

The only thing lacking was the president sharing with his Japanese visitors how he, like a less-famous emperor before him, also sets fires and fiddles around while Baltimore burns.

Jeannie hosts a blog at www.jeannie-ology.com.

Rome might not be burning, but Baltimore sure is, and if partying in the midst of a crisis could be considered fiddling, President Obama would be quite the fiddler indeed.

Just one month after Michelle Obama visited Japan, lunched on an ornate bento box and wailed away on the Taiko drums like “Mr. Bongo” Jack Costanzo, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie Abe, were guests of honor at the White House’s eighth state dinner.

As journalists in Baltimore suffered broken bones, bloodied lips, and muggings, glittering groups of elite guests dressed in black tie arrived in limos.  And what a celebration the evening turned out to be.

Cascades of pink cherry blossoms and orchids abounded.  In fact, cherry blossoms graced everything from the red chopsticks to the table’s centerpieces.  If only Laura Dowling, the head florist who was suddenly and dramatically escorted from the White House back in March, were there to supervise, surely the first lady would have been honored with a flotilla of F-Lotus blossoms.

Celebrity Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto joined the White House staff in the kitchen, and under the pink twinkling lights, to the delight of all the guests, the new “Kailua blue” Hawaii-inspired china was unveiled. 

Meanwhile, as Barack Obama recited a haiku, in Baltimore, reporters and cameramen were dodging bricks and broken glass while police in riot gear tried to hold back angry rioters.

As firefighters battled the work of arsonists in West Baltimore, the first course of Toro Tartare and Caesar Sashimi Salad wrapped in clear acetate and tied with a Mizuhiki cord was served right on time.

Luckily, neither feast nor appetites were affected by the 15 police officers injured in the riots, nor were the festivities negatively impacted by Maryland governor Larry Hogan declaring a state of emergency and activating 2,000 National Guardsmen.

In fact, at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, when the second course of Vegetable Consommé En Croute and Shikai Maki arrived, according to White House state dinner watchers the focus was not on why 1,000 Baltimore police officers were being told to “stand down” by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake; it was on paying homage to Michelle’s kitchen garden.‎

Displaying an unprecedented level of sensitivity to the plight of joblessness and poverty that the president implied earlier in the day are partially responsible for the violence in Baltimore, instead of serving Japanese Kobe beef, which sells for $300 per pound in Japan, the main course was American Wagyu Beef Tenderloin, which sells for a much more affordable $137 per pound in the U.S. 

The Wagyu paired with Spring Vegetables and Maui Onion Veal Jus had to be pure perfection.

For dessert, new executive pastry chef Susan Morrison threw together a blown-sugar teapot decorated with edible cherry blossoms and surrounded by petit fours, and for the dairy/gluten intolerant in the house, Morrison unveiled a cheesecake made of silken tofu and soy milk that she served with Florida berries and White House honey.

Despite burning police cruisers and pillaged taverns and liquor stores, the state dinner included American wines from California and a sake toast, which should have been dedicated to Toya Graham, the badass “Mom of the Year” who was captured on video clobbering her hoodie-wearing son for participating in the Baltimore riots.

From a state in close proximity to where people were disregarding the 10:00 pm curfew that police in riot gear were trying desperately to enforce, and as smoke grenades ignited in the streets of Baltimore, the stars of the film Jersey Boys entertained Mr. and Mrs. Obama’s guests.

All in all, and considering what was going on just 35 miles away, the evening was a – pardon the pun – smashing success.

The only thing lacking was the president sharing with his Japanese visitors how he, like a less-famous emperor before him, also sets fires and fiddles around while Baltimore burns.

Jeannie hosts a blog at www.jeannie-ology.com.