Voting for Cake

January 24th, 2019

Week 4: The 2019 Voting with My Dollar Project

I got a wild hair to decorate my daughters’ birthday cake (technically their second birthday cake) with fresh edible flowers. I could have ordered edible flowers to be delivered overnight from a faraway Etsyist for a small fortune and a bit of soul-selling. But that felt wrong, or at the very least, gratuitous.

Needless to say, finding fresh edible flowers in Vermont in January was a losing proposition. After poking around, the general consensus was that I would have to settle for dried flowers.

Fortunately, my nearby neighbor Hannah at Tapalou Guild came to the rescue. (Grateful plug for Tapalou: Hannah and her kin have a magical flower farm here in Guilford and a CSA I enjoyed the hell out of last summer.) Over Instagram (which is 90% of my conversations in these dark winter days) I came to know that Hannah was harboring some clover and calendula she had grown last summer. She offered to put a few bags aside for me. 

She also offhandedly mentioned some nettle that she “stupidly dried like 87 pounds of.”

“What would one even do with that?” I wondered.

An hour later I happened to be at an appointment with a new-to-me naturopath, trying to get to the bottom of my lifelong digestive challenges. She presented me with a list of things I should probably not eat, which as you can probably imagine was identical to the list of things I typically do eat. 

“Green tea?!?!” I exclaimed in alarm.

“You know what’s a great substitute for that?” she countered.

“Please don’t say nettle tea,” was my reply.

When I stopped by Hannah’s beautiful little farmhouse later that evening to pick up the goods, she threw in an ample bag of dried nettle as well.

I used to buy things like this at Whole Foods, where you can get bulk dried nettle and every single other thing on your bourgie list all at once. Now, I relish the opportunity to pick up a few things here, a few things there. It’s not efficient, nor practical. It may not even be economical. But it’s wholesome, you know?

The cake turned out beautifully. Unfortunately, we had to cancel the birthday party because of a nor’easter which pounded us with over a foot of snow, then just to seal the deal, brought hours of freezing rain, making the driving treacherous.

We ate the cake. We also made popcorn with the movie-popcorn maker we had rented. We ate the chili AND the vegetable minestrone I had made for the party. We did the crafts. And we went sledding. Just without the other 45 people who had RSVPed “yes.”

It was actually a pretty fun birthday party, and I may have learned my lesson about trying to plan parties in January. 

This project is ongoing and of course, highly subjective. I love information, so if I got something wrong, or you know something I don’t, please let me know!


What I’m eating: 

Flourless chocolate cake, obviously. I am not eating sugar as a rule, however, I have a rule that overrides that rule, which is:

When one makes a cake, one can eat the cake.

What I’m reading: 

This Vanity Fair profile of my lady crush Brandi Carlile.

What I’m watching:

The Avett Brothers performing George Harrison’s “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)” on the dark day that was the 2017 Inauguration: 

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