The Romney vacation: M&M; cookies, volleyball and patriotic crafts

Mitt Romney’s vacation retreat may be tucked in the woods on the shores of New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee and visible only by boat, but voters still have gotten plenty of sightings this week, thanks to social media and the work of stealthy photographers.

In the sort of family tableau that Team Romney has skillfully arranged throughout the campaign, Associated Press photographer Charles Dharapak snapped the presumptive Republican nominee enjoying ice cream with his grandchildren at Wolfeboro’s Bailey’s Bubble, playing volleyball with his sons on the sandy court at their home and riding a Sea-Doo with his wife Ann -- who was (naturally) at the controls.

The candidate and his wife also gave voters an inside look at their week off with their five sons and 18 grandchildren through social media. “Some much needed family time this week,” Romney (or a trusted aide) wrote on his Facebook wall above a picture of the candidate and his wife walking hand-in-hand with their grandchildren in Wolfeboro.

On her Pinterest page, Ann Romney devoted several of her boards to Fourth of July recipes and projects, pinning posts on red, white and blue mason jar lights, paper wind streamers and painted tin cans -- grandchildren-ready crafts that the family might have enjoyed this week.


Cooking is apparently a down-time priority for the would-be first lady, who sent her husband out on the campaign trail with her homemade granola in 2008. Among recipes under consideration during the extended Fourth of July holiday: peppercorn crusted strip steaks, grilled corn and green tomato salsa, and a red, white and blueberry trifle.

Even on vacation, competition on the campaign trail didn’t go without a mention. On her recipe board, Ann Romney posted a photo of herself this week in a well-appointed kitchen standing over two well-worn cookie sheets, while mixing batter for her M&M cookies.

She told the magazine that baking them was a family tradition: “They smell delicious coming out of the oven -- our grandkids can’t resist them.”

Those treats are up against Michelle Obama’s “white and dark chocolate chip cookies” in Family Circle magazine’s presidential cookie bake-off.

Family Circle’s editors posted the competing cookie recipes at their website with this advice: “Your patriotic duty: Bake. Taste. Vote!”

Given the presidential candidates’ devotion to their wives, photos of Mitt and Barack helping out in aprons can’t be far behind.