Sunday, November 9, 2008

Black & White Unite! - Baking for Barack

So, it's a little late of a post, but it's never too late to celebrate the amazing feat of having elected such an inspirational leader for our country right? Back in October, I read about this baking event to raise money for the campaign in swing states on EatingLA and while some awesome folks went to Nevada and drew attention to the cause by making human pyramids at intersections and going door-to-door, I contributed by spending a day baking. Not a far reach for a Saturday afternoon/evening, but I like to think I was responsible for a tiny bit of the over $7000 that this sale raised in one morning.

While sometimes it's nice to make something unique with a little bit of ingenuity, I feel that at bake sales, there's a certain expectation of what the treats should be, and one shouldn't stray too far from that. Cookies, bars, muffins, cupcakes, and coffee cakes are all pretty standard as they're such portable crowd-pleasers and who has ever met a homemade cookie that they didn't like?

Okay. I have, but usually they're pretty good.

It was a tough decision, but I settled on David Lebovitz' Black-bottomed Cupcakes, a classic sour cream coffee cake, The Cheeseboard's currant scones,and the image on smittenkitchen was just too tempting, so peanut butter brownies.

I was a little late getting there, but was floored by what I saw once I arrived. It was a huge sale with so many volunteers -- children manning the lemonade stand and adults holding fort behind the baked goods. It really speaks to the involvement of the community as so many families were holding up signs for the bake sale, cheering on either side of the street, and those that weren't working the sale were strolling up with their loved ones and making their contribution by purchasing the goods. There were long tables packed with cupcakes, coffee cakes, all sorts of cookies, loaves, and there were still more things that couldn't fit on the spread yet. I had never seen anything like it and got that warm, fuzzy feeling witnessing such a vision of community.

I couldn't leave without buying a couple things, and what did I end up with? A currant scone from Clementine and a slice of streuseled sour cream coffee cake. "Wait...isn't that what you made?" Yes, it is. Those are a couple of my favorite things that clearly I love to make, and eat. Given the option, and even with dozens of other tantalizing temptations like pumpkin cookies and sticky buns, I cannot resist the simple pleasures of a scone or coffee cake. With the addition of a latte from Lamill, it was a rewarding, inspirational, lovely morning indeed.

This bake sale obviously wasn't what tipped the presidential race over the edge, and I know even all the bake sales around the country weren't responsible for the victory, but looking at the incredible involvement of the neighborhood for this cause, the call for change was deafening. And if this showing existed all over the US, it's no wonder we can now look toward the near future with even more hope.


  1. aw this makes me want to cry...tears of happiness of course. my mouth is watering as well...

  2. what fun! We all must contribute our unique gifts to worthy causes (even if it's baking for a presidential candidate - seemingly disconnected things). The analogy of your black bottom cupcakes made me chuckle. May we all, in an array of beautiful skin colors, unite in this country under its new leader. Yay, Obama!