Frustrated by the Election ? Let's eat...
A Journey into Hidden America
I tend to eat too much out of frustration. My wife continues to call me out on it, and I keep promising to be better. But watching the news, and the challenges of balancing a home budget and the kids....Well, you know.
Anyway, it is interesting that in a time long before Twinkies and other junk food, cake played an important role in our civic life around election time.
Susannah Gebhart and Maia Surdam, the two proprietors of OWL Bakery in Asheville, N.C. are encouraging professional and home bakers to make "election cakes" during October, with free recipes online. Election cakes have a long history in what is now the U.S., going back to the 13 Colonies.
According to NPR, The history is laid out by Bon Appetit. "Muster" cake, as it was called before the American Revolution, was "a dense, naturally leavened, boozy fruit and spice cake — baked by colonial women and given to the droves of men who were summoned for military training, or 'mustered,' by order of British troops."
Election cake represents a "connection to our shared history through food as well as an opportunity to bring attention to the upcoming election and issues concerning voter rights and access," the bakers write on their website. According to NPR, Gebhart and Surdam are quick to credit Richard Miscovich of Johnston & Wales University for researching and creating a recipe from historical records, from which their election cake is adapted. (He's also responsible for #MakeAmericaCakeAgain, as noted by Bon Appetit.)
Even though their cake seemed to have been consumed more in celebration and to connect with community than out of solitude as frustration, I still feel a kinship to this election season food. Anyway, gotta go. It's a long frustrating Monday and some cake is waiting for me.
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