In the wake of the election people have taken to the streets in a handful of major cities, including the windy one–Chicago. They are outraged over the election results. I watched the demonstrations unfold on T.V.; it was surreal…as if I were living in a banana republic.
I’ll confess I was more than a wee bit nervous as I watched the angry protestors two days following election night. I’d be flying into Chicago the next day to spend the weekend visiting my daughter. Given Chicago’s dubious distinction this year as The U.S. Murder Capitol, its no surprise that I should be nervous.
I shared my concern with my friend Emily. Like me, she is amazed that folks would react this way given Trump won, fair and square. Yes, Clinton may have won the popular vote, but not by much all things considered (under 400K is the current count). But how meaningful is that even, really? Not all the provisional and absentee ballots will be counted now. It is possible that even that could have turned Trump’s way. It is clear to me; there was no overwhelming mandate. People voted. Clinton lost, Trump won. That is the process. Stunning? Absolutely! I’m still floored.
I’ll confess to another reason for trepidation upon arriving in the windy city: My daughter, beautiful and bold, voted for Clinton. She wasn’t happy one bit that I had attended a Trump rally many months ago. “I’m simply trying to be an informed voter I had said; He’s campaigning pracatically in my back yard.” And, I want to see Rubio and Cruz too.” Add to that, I’ve seen her social media posts and comments over the course of the weeks leading up to the election. Let me be clear: I am proud of the fact that my daughter has opinions about politics and what happens in the world. Still, We have had our ups and downs as most mother-daughter relationships do. To put it as diplomatically as possible, I worried that she’d be less than gracious that I didn’t vote for her candidate. So far, for the most part, differing views has not been an issue. Whew. What a relief because I’m in town to be a part of some wedding decisions (the big day is in May of next year).
First on the agenda. Cake tasting.
After a workout at Orange Theory we shower, breakfast and head to the caterer, Big Delicious Planet. My daughter has chosen them because they create interesting and delicious menus with ingredients from their urban farm and quite possibly because they are billed as the “greenest caterer in the country.” We meet the catering associate that will work her wedding. Her name escapes me but she has beautiful eyes and excitement for what she does. Within a few minutes of meeting we get down to business.
I’m excited: Bring on the cake.
The lovely associate returns from an enormously large catering kitchen with a big tray of samples. I look at the bowls of buttercream frosting (almond, cream cheese, and chocolate) and I can feel the saliva building up in my mouth in anticipation of the heavenly sweetness that it surely will be. Olive oil cake, chocolate buttermilk cake and a basic vanilla buttermilk cake are placed in neat rows accompanied by little bowls heaped with cake fillings: strawberry-basil preserve, dark chocolate ganache and hazelnut-praline cream.
We debated for a nano-second about waiting to taste as my daugter’s wedding coordinator was late in arriving before agreeing that it was impossible given the delight of sweets before us!
Without delay we dove in.
I dipped my tasting spoon in a bowl of almond buttercream frosting and I am in heaven (my daughter didn’t like it but I’d happily spread it on anything). The chocolate buttercream frosting was fabulous (who doesn’t like chocolate?!) and the cream cheese divine as well. Every sample was heavenly to me.
How’s about a cake in every flavor combination represented here? I already know I’m planning to have one of everything at the wedding.
When my daughter’s wedding coordinator finally arrived I mostly sat back and listened…and ate cake. I had an idea or two to share but those were summarily dismissed…as I suspected they would be. Honestly, not a whole lot clicks between me and my daughter and this trip illuminates it once again and has me given up trying. I lament in earnest. For a time my heart feels heavy and sad.
But there is cake. Sweet. Soul-Soothing. Perfect.
That got me thinking about all the angst and upset following the election. Maybe all the angry and hurting folks just need to eat cake with buttercream frosting and strawberry-basil preserve filling. I know Marie Antoinette’s “Let Them Eat Cake” cry didn’t end well for her but I’m certain these sweet confections would get folks to dance happily in the streets in sugar and fat contentment.
It nearly did so for me.