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Electoral Politics and Food: A Steak in Your Vote

Tomahawk steak, recipe below
I am starting a new foodways series today on “election day treating,” the historic practice of insuring voter turnout and political allegiants with the promise of food and or drink. Here is my first installment. We are a week away from midterm elections which will determine who controls the U. S. House of Representatives and perhaps give republicans or democratic control of the U. S. Senate. In addition there are important local elections and more than thirty gubernatorial selections around the country. The political fervor reminds me of a story that my Cousin Katie told me long ago. She was perhaps the best cook in our family and a delight to be around. As a doctoral student studying history at Syracuse University in the 1990s, I lived off campus at my older Cousin house on Borden Avenue on the North West side of the city of Syracuse; she was in her 70s at the time. It was election season in the 1990s and I was surprised to learn that she was a registered Republican. I was Surprised because, like most African Americans, our family was full of registered Democrats with roots in the political realignment that occurred with blacks flocked to the Dems during the era of FDR and his Federal National Relief Agency (NRA). The NRA provided food relief for many African Americans on the verge of starvation. The story goes that Cousin Katie moved to Syracuse from Ossining, New York sometime in the late 1940s. She quickly learned that the Republican Party in her area of the city gave out fat and juicy steaks to those who supported GOP candidates. As result, during tough times, some like my cousin realigned themselves politically with their stomachs. Below is a very serious steak recipe that is not at all vegan friendly but it works with this story.

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