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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 11/25/2010

Traditional fare, Va. wine, on the menu for governor's Thanksgiving

By Rosalind S. Helderman
Rosalind S. Helderman

As we all settle down to our Thanksgiving dinners, we got Todd Schneider, the executive chef at Virginia's governor's mansion, to give us the low-down on the first family's meal today.

Schneider said he was cooking for 25 -- which included Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), wife Maureen, their five children and other family members, as well as members of McDonnell's security detail who will be working on the holiday.

"They like it very traditional" Schneider said.

To start, there will be shrimp, an antipasto platter and crab dip.

The centerpiece of the meal will be a 35-pound turkey Schneider has nicknamed "Oscar." He's actually made three birds to ensure plenty of food for leftovers.

The stuffing is a traditional recipe including crumbled baguettes and herbs from the Executive Mansion's garden.

The sides will also be -- you guessed it -- traditional: Mashed potatoes, candied yams and green bean casserole. Dessert will include both pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake.

Schneider wouldn't give us any recipes ("You'll have to wait for the cookbook!" he said.) But he did reveal one secret: Oscar has been basted in a wine sauce.

Virginia wine, you might ask?

"Of course!" Schneider said, well aware that the first lady serves as an official ambassador of the Virginia wine industry. "That's all we stock here."

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | November 25, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman  
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