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African American Festivals/Parades and food Part 2: Election Day

Election Day cake, recipes below
Negro Election Day (election of black Kings and governors) in New England in May or June was the best known African American festival during the colonial period. Other spring festivals included Pinkster and General Training (Black militias in parade drills), in various parts of the North. These events included northern blacks dressed in fine apparel, enjoying music, dancing, and selling and consuming of food and beverages. An Election Day event in 1760 Boston included feasting on large amounts of Election Day cake, gingerbread and beer. At a General Training festival in the Township of Bedminster, New Jersey blacks had root beer in the barrel and round ginger bread cakes for sale in wagons. As in the south, northern blacks slaves endured food apartheid from white masters seeking to reduce their expenses. Thus holidays and special occasions like Pinkster, Training Day and Election Day provided enslaved Africans food in abundance several times a year. Here are recipes and links to more on the history of Election Day cakes:

Election Day cake recipe: http://starchefs.com/chocolate_lovers/2002/html/november/recipe_04.shtml

1896 Boston Cooking School Election Cake Recipe
½ cup butter
8 finely chopped figs
1 cup bread dough
1 ¼ cups flour
1 egg
½ teaspoon soda
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sour milk
2/3 cup raisins seeded, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon clove
¼ teaspoon mace
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
Work butter into dough, using the hand. Add egg well beaten, sugar, milk, fruit dredged with two tablespoons flour, and flour mixed and sifted with remaining ingredients. Put into a well-buttered bread pan, cover, and let rise one and one-fourth hours. Bake one hour in a slow oven. Cover with chocolate frosting.

Wedding and Food Series: Part 3 Colonial America

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