In the future, I imagine my children or grandchildren will ask me "Where were you when America saw it's first black president was sworn in, when yes we can changed to yes we did, when a new generation of Americans came into their own in understanding their personal and political power, when regardless of political party or personal belief, the country came together with a collective sigh of relief and a hope for change?"
When that happens, I'll be able to answer that I watched the momentous event at Cuyahoga Community College (where my mother is a teacher), among people of all ages, races, and nationalities all of whom were moved, cheering and crying, at the prospect of something new and better.
After the viewing, the hugging, and waving goodbye to former (former!) President Bush, us Americans hungry for change also found ourselves hungry for lunch. And what provides a better sweet ending to any Inauguration Day lunch than Patriotic prObama Cupcakes?
In the spirit of unity (and because my mother's coworker has a nut allergy), I tried the Cherrybrook Kitchen wheat/gluten free, egg free, and nut free chocolate cake mix and vanilla icing mix. (The mixes themselves were dairy free, too, but I put real milk and butter into the icing. A personal choice, but they're more than easily made using dairy substitutes for the lactose free and vegan among you.)
Talk about witnessing the impossible! While I think I'm still a Pamela's fan as far as mixes are concerned (I still dream about that birthday chocolate cake...), the completely allergy friendly Cherrybook Kitchen mixes were GOOD. I'd make it again good. Even the those without food issues agreed, the cupcakes were rich, perfectly textured, and utterly craveable.
Best of all, they were easy, easy, easy to make. - A welcome surprise to me, as I'd made four failed batches of meringue cookies before finally turning to a mix. No matter how I whipped, my meringue would merely stare back at me glossy, thick, but peakless. It was only after batch four that I realized it was my regular table sugar weighing the mixture down. Sigh. - The cake mix required only 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, and 1 cup of cold water (I used 2/3rd cup cold coffee and 1/3 cup cold water, it makes for a richer, deeper taste).
The icing, too, was so very simple, just the mix plus 2 tablespoons of milk and 2 and 1/2 sticks of butter. The icing box says it makes enough icing for only 12 cupcakes, but I found I was able to frost 21 of my 24 cupcakes (made from 2 boxes of mix).
Dividing the icing into three bowls, I added a few drops of McCormick food coloring and quickly found myself with red, white, and blue icing. I frosted my cupcakes and served up a delicious, equal opportunity treat for this sweet, historic day.
A final note - and I hope you'll oblige me this political moment in a space whose primary concern is reserved for food - it was a welcome release of cynicism to frost my cupcakes in such a patriotic fashion. Over a third of my 22 years have been spent under a government who's legacy includes such low points as Abu Grahaib and Guantanamo Bay, a depressed, recessed economy, and the horrific mismanagement of Hurricane Katrina. I cannot say that four years ago, much less last year, I would've ever imagined doing anything so openly patriotic, so celebratory of my country and it's government.
But today I passed out my Patriotic prObama cupcakes with pride. I guess that's another thing I can remember about today. What about you? What will you remember?