Biden serves mashed potatoes to military members at ‘Friendsgiving’ gathering

Biden serves mashed potatoes sporting an apron with the presidential seal and poses for selfies with troops at ‘Friendsgiving’ event in North Carolina – telling a child he can ‘steal a pumpkin’ if he’s bored by the president’s speech

  • President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden strapped on aprons – adorned with the presidential seal – and served a ‘Friendsgiving’ meal to the troops
  • The first couple visited Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina Monday night, before celebrating their own Thanksgiving in Nantucket 
  • The ‘Friendsgiving’ event rounded out a trio of holiday festivities Monday, which included the turkey pardoning and greeting the White House Christmas tree  

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President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden strapped on aprons – adorned with the presidential seal – and served a ‘Friendsgiving’ meal to the troops and their families at a Marine base in North Carolina Monday night. 

Onstage, the president encouraged a young boy to ‘steal a pumpkin’ as he and Dr. Biden spoke to those gathered at the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina. 

‘Imagine this has to be boring, boring, boring for these kids to stand up here,’ he told the sons of Jennifer Gonzalez, the Marine who was introducing him. ‘You’re allowed to do anything you want – including go steal a pumpkin if you want – anything you want to do,’ Biden encouraged. 

The ‘Friendsgiving’ event rounded out a trio of holiday festivities Monday, including the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon, where Chocolate and Chip were spared, and the greeting of the White House Christmas tree, which Dr. Biden attended with grandson baby Beau. 

The first family will travel to Nantucket, Massachusetts Tuesday for their own Thanksgiving holiday. 

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden strapped on aprons - adorned with the presidential seal - and served a 'Friendsgiving' meal to the troops and their families at a Marine base in North Carolina Monday night

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden strapped on aprons – adorned with the presidential seal – and served a ‘Friendsgiving’ meal to the troops and their families at a Marine base in North Carolina Monday night

President Joe Biden (center) encouraged one of Jennifer Gonzalez's sons to 'steal a pumpkin' as the family stood onstage to welcome the commander-in-chief to the Marine Corps Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina Monday night

President Joe Biden (center) encouraged one of Jennifer Gonzalez’s sons to ‘steal a pumpkin’ as the family stood onstage to welcome the commander-in-chief to the Marine Corps Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina Monday night 

First Lady Jill Biden speaks alongside her husband President Joe Biden (left) as  U.S. Marine Anthony Gonzalez, his wife Jennifer and their family (right), stand onstage at the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina

First Lady Jill Biden speaks alongside her husband President Joe Biden (left) as  U.S. Marine Anthony Gonzalez, his wife Jennifer and their family (right), stand onstage at the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina 

President Joe Biden (left) eats with military members and their families during a 'Friendsgiving' celebration in honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday in North Carolina Monday night. The Bidens are headed to Nantucket Tuesday evening for their own Thanksgiving holiday

President Joe Biden (left) eats with military members and their families during a ‘Friendsgiving’ celebration in honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday in North Carolina Monday night. The Bidens are headed to Nantucket Tuesday evening for their own Thanksgiving holiday 

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden serve a Thanksgiving meal to servicemembers in North Carolina Monday night at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden serve a Thanksgiving meal to servicemembers in North Carolina Monday night at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

President Joe Biden served what also looked to be stuffing at the 'Friendsgiving' meal, cooked up by British celebrity chef Robert Irvine

President Joe Biden served what also looked to be stuffing at the ‘Friendsgiving’ meal, cooked up by British celebrity chef Robert Irvine 

President Joe Biden walks and talks to Marines at Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolin Monday night

President Joe Biden walks and talks to Marines at Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolin Monday night 

Celebrity chef Robert Irvine (left) is pictured scooping food alongside First Lady Jill Biden and President Joe Biden at the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina Monday night

Celebrity chef Robert Irvine (left) is pictured scooping food alongside First Lady Jill Biden and President Joe Biden at the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina Monday night 

THE ‘FRIENDSGIVING’ MENU 

Seasonal Salad:

Salad of Autumn Greens – Candied walnuts, shaved granny smith apples & fennel, dried cranberries, crumbled goat cheese, citrus-white balsamic

Carving Stations:

Slow Roasted Bourbon Brined Turkey – Giblet gravy + cranberry-orange compote

Maple Mustard Glazed Spiral Cut Smoked Ham- Dried apricot condiment + dinner rolls

Traditional Sides:

Mashed Potatoes – Roasted garlic + crème fraiche

Brioche-Cornbread Stuffing – Sage sausage + winter herbs

Sweet Potato Casserole – Molasses – brown sugar glaze + toasted marshmallows

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Butternut Squash

Sauteed mushrooms + caramelized onions

Desserts:

Holiday Pies – Pumpkin & Pecan

Warm Apple Crisp

Vanilla bean ice cream

Double Chocolate Pot’s De Crème

Toasted espresso mascarpone Chantilly cream

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The ‘Friendsgiving’ food was cooked up by British celebrity chef Robert Irvine, who has long been associated with Jill Biden’s ‘Joining Forces’ initiative, which launched when she was second lady alongside First Lady Michelle Obama. 

Speaking to the servicemembers, Irvine recalled his own service in the U.K.’s Royal Navy. 

‘And I will guarantee you this, this will be the best meal you get in the Marine Corps,’ he said. 

The president gave a shout-out to Irvine when he took the stage. 

‘The chef’s not bad, we’ve had a lot of meals with him,’ Biden noted. 

‘By the way, I’m serving mashed potatoes so come to my place!’ the president said of his own role for the night. 

Both he and Jill talked about the late Beau Biden’s military service – commiserating with the members who might be away from home during this year’s holiday season. 

‘So we know what it’s like, we are a military family – should I say my dad was Navy, our won was Army,’ Dr. Biden told the Marines. ‘So we actually know what it’s like to be away from your family on Thanksgiving. Our son was away, he was deployed to Iraq in 2008-2009.’

‘So even though you’re away from your families at home in your home state, we know that you’re here with your family here – because military is family,’ the first lady added. 

The president recalled his wife ‘standing over the sink saying a prayer’ every day Beau Biden was deployed. 

He called the U.S. military ‘the best fighting force in the history of the world.’

‘That’s not hyperbole,’ Biden said. 

The president greeted the entire Gonzalez family onstage – and then walked down to where the food was being served, strapping on a Navy blue apron and white plastic gloves. 

Dr. Biden looked to be scooping the brioche-cornbread stuffing alongside him.

Later, the president walked around the room taking selfies with servicemembers. 

Ahead of Biden’s remarks, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and his wife Kristin worked the room. 

The Coopers flew down on Air Force One with the Bidens after attending the turkey pardon – as this year’s presidential flock heralded from North Carolina. 

President Joe Biden (left) and First Lady Jill Biden (right) wave as they depart the White House Monday after pardoning the Thanksgiving turkeys and greeting the Christmas tree. They were headed to a military 'friendsgiving' as part of Dr. Biden's Joining Forces initiative

President Joe Biden (left) and First Lady Jill Biden (right) wave as they depart the White House Monday after pardoning the Thanksgiving turkeys and greeting the Christmas tree. They were headed to a military ‘friendsgiving’ as part of Dr. Biden’s Joining Forces initiative 

First Lady Jill Biden (left) and President Joe Biden (center right) walk with Col. Matthew Jones (right) and his wife Christie Jones (center left) on the tarmac of Joint Base Andrews Monday afternoon as they depart for a 'friendsgiving' in North Carolina

First Lady Jill Biden (left) and President Joe Biden (center right) walk with Col. Matthew Jones (right) and his wife Christie Jones (center left) on the tarmac of Joint Base Andrews Monday afternoon as they depart for a ‘friendsgiving’ in North Carolina 

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