Cakes of Peace and War
Plenty and Want, and Baking as a Creative, Generative Act
I've been thinking about wartime rationing and food recently. How it came to mind isn't entirely clear to me, except that I've been thinking about food security in general, and about external pressures that impact our access to food. Wartime rationing is not something I've ever personally experienced, but I've read plenty of stories of it and talked with elders about the trials and tribulations of planning around rations, particularly when it came to special occasion meals.
Which brings me to cake.
We make and share celebration food for any number of reasons, but one that stuck out to me was a conversation I had with my grandmother years ago. She noted that the family insisted on making holiday meals and birthday cakes as lavishly as one could in a time of rationing. She referred to it as a demand for normalcy, a "defiant insistence" (her words) that life was to be celebrated even in a non-celebratory time. I think of this conversation often.
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