The night of the election I cracked open a cookbook on “boozy cakes.” My plan was to make a “champagne cake” to celebrate what I had assumed would be a Hillary win.
I was going to top the cake with shards of candied “glass.” Get it? A broken glass ceiling cake?
So I started baking this cake in the early evening.
The batter tasted great. When I popped the cake in the oven, the polls were just starting to close.
The results came in and they were unexpected. “How could Virginia be so close?” I thought. I stress-ate too much pizza in my pantsuit and felt extremely ill. I quit making the cakes and saved them for the morning, praying that somehow Hillary could still pull ahead.
But she didn’t and you all know what happened.
And in the morning, my champagne cakes just sat on the counter top, staring right at me. They were saying, “Listen lady, you can’t take anything for granted.”
My poor little heart was just broken to pieces. I couldn’t believe that we had elected a hateful, misogynistic, xenophobic, racist reality TV show conman.
So I just ugly-cried and threw the cake away. I couldn’t even take a clear picture of it in the garbage can.
The weeks following the election have been tough. Like a lot of you, I’ve been distraught over the post-election rise of hate crimes targeting people of color, LBGTQ individuals, Muslims (or people thought to be Muslim), and immigrants. I don’t want to be presumptuous, but I also would assume that a lot of you who fall in these groups are more scared and feel threatened than before the election, or that you have experienced some kind of post-election hate. I am so sorry. I stand with you. I will use my privilege to fight for your rights, safety, and freedom.
I’ve been horrified at the daily news of the president-elect’s cabinet nominations. I’ve read a gazillion opinion articles, ranging from the everything-is-okay-let’s-get-to-work opinion to the this-is-the-apocalypse-and-be-prepared-for-an-autocrat perspective.
And I’ve tried to start figuring out how to turn my dismay into actionable responses.
At risk of stating the obvious, if there is one thing that can be learned from this presidential election, it is that nothing is certain.
And we all can shape the kind of country and world that we want to have.
One of my friends, Micael, posted this on Facebook: “Let these next four years be the most inspiring, active years of your life. Those things you’ve always believed in doing but never put the effort into? Do them now. And tell us all about them.”
So, my friends, here we are. Here I am. Everything is terrible, but we can and will make a difference for the world that we want to see.
So this Thanksgiving, our little family held each other close, gave thanks, and schemed for how we will stay politically active and not complacent for the next four years.
My dad visited us in Ohio from Washington to celebrate Thanksgiving. It was wonderful to have him here. (By the way, our family political dinner conversation included him saying that he would rather have a Nixon presidency than a Trump presidency, and he HATES Nixon).
I made two Thanksgiving pies: Dutch apple and pumpkin.
I don’t care what anybody says, cake just does not have a place in Thanksgiving.
But these pies were awesome. I was particularly proud of the crusts (one that included vodka – thanks Cooks Illustrated!).
And here is Ansel, our little wonder and part of our motivation to continue to fight for a better, more just world.