Candidate Cookies: Mike Huckabee

January 11, 2016 in Candidate Cookies

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Candidate cookies are a quick look at the men and women who aspire to be President of the United States 2017-2020.

 

Mike Huckabee, an ex-Baptist minister, is one of the presidential candidates who is a proponent of “family values,” as he defines them. On his website he makes it clear that he will not apologize for his faith nor his values. Some of the positions he takes are Biblical positions, as he interprets them. 

Some of the criticism that he’s taken during this election cycle ties directly to his religious views. For example, when he said that Josh Duggar should be forgiven for his teenage sexual transgressions against five girls, including his sisters. He did not condone Duggar’s behavior; he said that this was inexcusable. He meant unforgivable in a greater sense. He said also that those who talked about these deeds, suggesting that they were enjoying someone else’s difficulty, “revealed their own insensitive bloodthirst.” Fiery language. 

Mike Huckabee is the candidate who once said, “Will you vote the values that will stand the test of fire?Will you vote the values that will stand the test of fire?”

Huckabee’s cookie contains cinnamon, cinnamon candy pieces, and a dash of cayenne.  These spicy mix-ins represent fire. They also represent the fire that he believes should be applied to the United States tax system, burning it down to the ground.

For substantive information about Donald Trump, you might take a peek at his campaign website or at his Project Votesmart profile page. TheWikipedia page will lead you to some other articles and resources if you scroll down to the bottom.

 
 
 
 

 

First Lady Donuts: Martha Washington

December 30, 2015 in FLOTUS Donuts

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Candidate Cookies: Donald Trump

December 29, 2015 in Candidate Cookies

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Candidate cookies are a quick look at the men and women who aspire to be President of the United States 2017-2020.

Donald Trump’s cookie references both his personal story and statements that he has made over the last several months. As a billionaire, his cookie should have ingredients that one might not use every day. This is where saffron comes in. Donald Trump comes to us from the world of entertainment. As a result, some of the coverage that he gets is a bit different than coverage of other candidates. This is where the cashews come in. The cashew tree has a short, irregular trunk. There was a whole Vanity Fair article about a claim that Donald Trump has short fingers. The coconut flakes are a reference to Mr. Trump’s famous hair. The flakes sit in the cookie at a variety of angles. Also, the flakes are white when they go into the batter, but those that sit on top of the cookie take on a sandier, never-quite-brown color upon baking. This represents the variety of colors we can observe in Trumps hair if perusing Google images. Finally, Donald Trump’s nativist leanings inspired the inclusion of white chocolate chips.

For substantive information about Donald Trump, you might take a peek at his campaign website, or at his Project Votesmart profile page. The Wikipedia page will lead you to some other articles and resources if you scroll down to the bottom.

Candidate Cookies: Rick Perry

August 9, 2015 in Candidate Cookies

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Candidate cookies are a quick look at the men and women who aspire to be President of the United States 2017-2020.

Rick Perry’s cookie takes a look at some of Perry’s favorite things. Rick Perry plays the piano, so white and chocolate chips are used here to represent the ebony and ivory keys. He is said to like popcorn, too so they are also included in his cookie. Because Rick Perry is a fifth-generation Texan, it seemed appropriate to also include pecans since Texas grows a lot of them. 

For substantive information about Rick Perry, you might take a peek at his campaign website, or at his Project Votesmart profile page. The Wikipedia page will lead you to some articles and other resources if you scroll down to the bottom.

Candidate Cookies: Bernie Sanders

June 28, 2015 in Candidate Cookies

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Candidate cookies are a quick look at the men and women who aspire to be President of the United States 2017-2020.

Bernie Sanders’ cookie begins with chocolate chips. After all, chocolate chips are pretty classic and Sanders’ history includes a classic immigration story. His father had immigrated to the United States from Poland, and much of his family had been killed in the Holocaust. His grandparents were also Jewish immigrants. His cookie contains dried blueberries, which are a nod to the northeast, where he’s been for most of his life. Sanders was born in New York, and has been a politician in Vermont over the last several decades. The sunflower seeds in his cookie are a nod to his work as a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Sunflowers are named after the sun, and this particular committee, among other things, deals with proposed legislation pertaining to solar energy.

For substantive information about Bernie Sanders, you might take a peek at his campaign website, or at his Project Votesmart profile page. The campaign Wikipedia page will lead you to some articles and other resources if you scroll down to the bottom. 

The Amalgamation

March 14, 2015 in Cakes

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I’ve been asked more than once whether I’d make a chocolate cupcake for President Obama because he is the first black president. Actually, most people who ask that say African-American president. However, considering that I have a website that explores the way that we use food language to describe women, I wasn’t too keen on using chocolate to interpret a president just because his skin is brown.

But what do you say about a president whose presidency we’re still living through? It’s too early to even summarize it. Making 44 cupcakes, generally, is a challenge. I’ve looked at the presidents through a variety of lenses. Because Barack Obama spent time in Hawaii as a child, I might work that element. However, I’ve tread over Hawaii with the McKinley cupcake. I could use Indonesian flavors because he spent time there, but that’s be almost like Hoover’s cupcake, taking advantage of a place he happened to live for a while. His left-handedness might have made for an interesting interpretation, but many of his predecessors were also lefties. Truman tried to achieve national health care long before Obamacare came along. He’s not even the only president to come to us by way of Illinois.

Barack Obama, though, is a reminder that no president is wholly unique. Each president borrows ideas from the men who came before him. Perhaps the presidency is more cumulative than we think. Perhaps the current president can always be viewed as an amalgamation of the previous residents of the executive mansion.

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The cake:

Because I chose the amalgamation element, I wanted to nod toward another treat that is defined by the components that comprise it. That made me think of Neapolitan ice cream.  So, here we have a vanilla and chocolate chip cupcake with strawberry buttercream frosting. Since the presidency is a complex sophisticated job, the cupcake is filled with red-wine flavored whipped cream. At the end, I decided that the cupcake would have a chocolate shell because with some people, the only thing they’ll ever see is that brown exterior.

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The Decision Point

March 13, 2015 in Cakes

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As I’ve gotten closer, and closer to the present, it has become more of a challenge to figure out how to approach these cupcakes. This is more true for the last two presidents. In the preface to the book The Faiths of the Postwar Presidents, David Holmes says, “No president’s story is complete until his death– and even then, reevaluations frequently occur.”

Here, then, I’ll take a bit of a different approach to this cupcake. George W. Bush may very well be the reason that Head of State Cakes exists. You see, in the days leading up to the 2000 presidential election, I had a recurring dream about George W. Bush. In this dream, he stood in the middle of my childhood bed wearing dress socks, dress shoes, boxer shorts, a dress shirt and a tie. He stood there twirling a lasso. That is it. I had that dream time and time again until the election happened. Then it never happened again.

That’s one heck of a dream. And I spent some time trying to wrap my mind around it. That’s what led to me taking a poem about this dream to the writing group I had been attending. Later, showed the group a poem about President Nixon. At this point, someone asked me if I was planning to write a poem about each president. I quickly replied that I didn’t know enough about each of them to write a poem about each one.

But I realized that I could.

Here, an endeavor to read at least one book about each President of the United States began. When I finished, I had a hole in my heart that I chose to fill with, yes, cupcakes.

So you see, this project is directly linked to George W. Bush. Without him, and without that dream, none of this would be happening.

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The cake:

Because the ever important George W. Bush dream was set in my childhood bedroom, I decided to make a cupcake that might evoke childhood. Also, because George W. Bush is reputed to have enjoyed a lunch of peanut butter and honey sandwich regularly in the White House, peanut butter and honey would be the main flavors in this cupcake.

The cake itself is honey flavored with a peanut butter swirl. It’s topped with a vanilla buttercream and drizzled with honey. It’s garnished with a peanut butter filled pretzel.

The cupcake is called the Decision Point because that’s very close to the name of the book that he wrote which discusses some of the major decisions that he’s made in his life.

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The Temptation

February 8, 2015 in Cakes

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 One of the things that the media loved to talk about during Bill Clinton’s presidency was his diet and his weight. When I was thinking about this cupcake, this came to mind. But, sometimes we misremember things. A few cursory searches, though, proved to me that I wasn’t making this up at all.  

Don’t read the articles about Bill Clinton’s relationship to food if you’re hungry. You’ll probably drool all over your computer or phone. You’ll probably go eat something that you wouldn’t normally eat. You’ll read about Clinton eating chicken enchiladas, hamburgers, barbecue, cinnamon rolls, tacos, baked beans, sweet potato pie, jalapeƱo hamburgers, corn pudding, carrot cake, apples, bananas, roast beef, peach pie, and lemon chess pie. Drooling yet? And this is not an exhaustive list.

Back in 1992, the New York Times published an article “Bill Clinton and Food: Jack Sprat He’s Not.” Saturday Night Live had a bit of fun at the expense of his gustatory reputation, in it Clinton visited a McDonald’s and helped himself to the food on people’s trays.

More recently, media attention to Clinton’s diet has focused on lifestyle changes that he’s made in the last several years. Following serious heart trouble, Clinton adopted a more or less vegan diet. This change doesn’t mean an end to articles about Bill Clinton and his food habits, they’re just pitched differently. 

 

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The cake:

This cake combines some of Bill Clinton’s favorite things, with some of the things that might look good, but not be good for him. Bill Clinton is a fan of bananas, so the cake is banana-flavored. It is filled with whipped cream, which is one of the things that looks so good, but would be bad. You see, Clinton is allergic to milk. He is also allergic to chocolate, part of this cupcake’s garnish. The cake is frosted with butterscotch buttercream, bringing these flavors together with sweetness, a taste that he has seemed to favor. Finally, the cupcake is sprinkled with salted peanuts. This cupcake is called the temptation because like some of the foods that the press so loved talking about, it looks so good, but if consumed with reckless abandon, it could be so bad for you.

 

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The Poppy

February 7, 2015 in Cakes

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Recently, I was at my son’s pediatrician, George H. W. Bush came up. I was trying to distract my son from the immunizations he was getting, so I started spouting off presidential trivia. As a part of this, I told him that George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush were our nation’s second father and son pair to have both held the office of the presidency.

We do what we need to do to take care of our families.

It seems fitting that George H. W. Bush was one of the presidents who was helpful in this tense moment. When I think of him, the first thing that I think is almost always “family man.” Not one, but two of his children penned biographies of him. George H. W. Bush has also become family another former president, Bill Clinton, who sees him as a father figure. In fact, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush affectionately refer to each other as brothers from another mother. When Bush was vice president, Bill Clinton introduced his daughter to Bush. Chelsea Clinton, a youngster at the time looked at him and asked where the bathroom was. Bush, took her by the hand to the bathroom. If that’s not a dad move, I don’t know what is.

This family man was the dad to six children. He also followed in the footsteps of his own father, Prescott Bush, and entered politics.

Even the way that he talked about his job could sometimes be fatherly. His inaugural address illustrates this, “We cannot hope only to leave our children a bigger car, a bigger bank account. We must hope to give them a sense of what it means to be a loyal friend, a loving parent, a citizen who leaves his home, his neighborhood and town better than he found it.”

George H. W. Bush’s cupcake celebrates him as a dad and family man. In his family, George H. W. Bush is referred to as Poppy, making it clear that his cupcake needed to feature poppy seeds. 

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The cake:

This cupcake is grapefruit flavored and studded with poppy seeds. The grapefruit flavor comes from grapefruit zest. The cupcake’s sugar is blended with a few bandage-sized pieces of grapefruit peel. The oils from the grapefruit peel provide a good amount of grapefruit flavor.  The cupcake is filled with spiced grapefruit gelatin, and is topped with spicy cream cheese frosting and garnished with more poppy seeds.

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The Great Communicator

February 6, 2015 in Cakes

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Ronald Reagan is really the first president that I remember from when he was the President of the United States. I think that the incident that even really made me aware of the presidency at all was the Iran Contra Affair and the news that was playing all of the time during that period. An aside, I remember thinking that Oliver North was so cute. 

Ahem.

Ronald Reagan as a young man was on the football team and acted in plays. When he finished college he was a radio sports announcer. He then became an actor starring in 53 films in a two decade career. Reagan also worked as the host of a weekly television program which allowed him to continue to tighten his public speaking skills. In addition to his acting, announcing, and his role on television, Reagan also wrote numerous opinion columns following his loss of the 1976 Republican presidential nomination.

In some ways, it seems that he was destined for popularity, meant to have the nickname, “The Great Communicator.”

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The cake:

This is one time when people who have guessed and speculated about what cupcake a president would get were correct. The Reagan cupcake does involve jelly beans. Back in the sixties, Ronald Reagan began eating jelly beans as he gave up smoking. For his inauguration in 1981, three and a half tons of red, white, and blue jelly beans were a part of the festivities. Those jelly beans were Jelly Belly jelly beans very cherry, coconut and blueberry. So, the cake, here, is in these three flavors. The frosting is vanilla buttercream, and it is garnished with red, white, and blue jellybeans.

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