Ask your friends to name their favorite aspect of any holiday and talk will turn to food pretty quickly. So if Election Day were a national holiday, what food would we eat?
Nothing is as American as, well, apple pie, so I propose we mark Election Day by celebrating this quintessential American dish, broadly conceived, in voter-based baking competitions across the country. Think of it as voting with your ballot and palate.
Picture this. Communities of any size can host an apple pie bake-off, and baking and/or pie sampling can occur at polling locations, schools, community centers, or parks. A nominal fee to sample pies and cast votes would cover baking costs and raise funds for each community’s food bank. The prospect of multiple pie sampling would not only provide a sugar high to both winners and losers but also increase voter turnout and celebrate the day’s themes.
Here are a few baking and competition ground rules. Community-nominated judges should ensure that each competitor obliges, and that voting is democratic:
- This election is open to amateur cooks of any age—no birth certificate or other government-issued ID is necessary to compete or vote.
- Communities hosting an Election Day Apple Pie Bake-Off need to call a town hall meeting to determine location and voting time of the bake-off, to be announced publicly in advance.
- In order to submit a pie, it must include at least one apple, a pastry crust, and a filling (savory or sweet), and each competitor must make all pie elements his or herself. No outsourcing allowed.
- Depending on the size of the community, categories besides “best pie” (e.g., most original, flakiest crust, etc.) may be decided ahead of time. The establishment of a separate category for donkey and elephant shaped pies is highly encouraged.
- The winner of the “best pie” will be granted with the title of President of the community’s official Apple Pie Administration for four years.
If your community can’t host an Election Day Apple Pie Bake-Off this year, try a mini version of a voting-based apple pie bake-off with your family and friends at home as you await the results on November 6. Just be sure to share a slice with your neighbor, whatever their chosen flavor.
Holidays need traditions. This post is part of a series imagining rituals we could create around "Voting Day" as a national holiday. Sign up your organization or encourage your company to join at takebacktuesday.good.is.
Illustration by Jessica De Jesus