Monday, November 3, 2008
Hartford Election Cake
Have you voted yet? I have, and it was a bit of a concession for me because I've always preferred to vote on Election Day itself. I heard a man I was in line with on Saturday say that he gets no time off to vote, and if he hadn't voted Saturday, he wouldn't have gotten to vote at all. Mercy! But my excuse for early voting this year, my first experience with early voting, was this: My sister's baby boy is due Nov. 5, and I don't want to be stuck in line Tuesday if I get The Call. So I stood in line from 7:30-10:30 Saturday morning, making some headway in my latest library book, "The Forgotten Man," which is Amity Shlaes' highly-touted new history of the Great Depression. I didn't miss the irony of the fact I was reading about people standing in the soup line while I was standing among people in a voting line. Normally, though, I LOVE to be in line on Election Day, checking out the turnout, chatting with the pollworkers, and just generally enjoying the excitement of the day. In the newsroom where I work, you get brownie points if you come back with a really good story from the polls.
I also have a history of making Election Day treats to share with my co-workers, so when I got my new issue of Hallmark Magazine in the mail, I was intrigued to see a recipe for something called Hartford Election Cake. Apparently, back in the days when people had to travel into town to vote, one of the treats served on Election Day was Election Cake. This particular recipe comes from Catharine Esther Beecher, the sister of Harriet Beecher Stowe.
I'm happy to see that the recipe for Hartford Election Cake is right here, so you can make one yourself if you have the almost-five hours it takes to assemble the thing. I enjoyed a nice hot cup of Lemon Chiffon Rooibos Tea with a slice at bedtime last night. I should probably mention that I substituted currants and dried apple for the raisins in the recipe, and I guess mine is also a Baptist cake since I used white grape juice instead of white wine. I had to bake it about 15 minutes longer 'til it was done, but that was fine. Oh, and I have only a rose-shaped Bundt pan, not a regular Bundt pan, so if I'd shot the photo from overhead you'd see I have a rose-shaped Election Cake. It wasn't hard to make, it just requires a good deal of patience since you have to let this yeast dough rise on several separate occasions. But hey, you've got a whole day before the election in case you want to make one yourself for the political junkies in your life. So happy voting, happy baking and may God Bless America!