When you embark upon a project about the presidents, there are certain presidents that people ask you about. No one is as interested in how you’re going to interpret, say, Millard Fillmore as they are in how you’re going to interpret someone like Tricky Dick. 

Nixon even inspired suggestions. Someone wanted to know if I was going to do something with the 18 minutes of missing tape of Watergate infamy. More often, though, of Nixon people just say, “You could take that in so many directions.”

That was the challenge.

I decided to go back to Nixon’s roots. Richard Nixon was born in Yorba Linda, California. In fact, he is the last famous person to hail from the small California city. He was raised in Whittier, California, the son of a grocer/gas station owner. Though he was admitted to Harvard University with a full tuition grant, Nixon remained at home in Whittier because of family demands, and attended Whittier College.

As we know, life and opportunity pulled him away from California, but after his resignation from the office of the presidency, he returned home. This time, home was San Clemente, California. Here, essentially Nixon was in exile. Here, however, Nixon mounted a recovery of sorts. With time he was able to position himself as an elder statesman.


The cake:

This cupcake pays homage to Nixon’s California beginnings and endings by making generous use of citrus. The cupcake itself is lemon-lime flavored. It contains lime juice and lemon zest. The cupcake is filled by a homemade clementine marmalade. That marmalade, provides a punch of citrus flavor in the buttercream frosting that tops the cupcake.

I took this cupcake to a potluck and those who tasted it enjoyed it.