“I am moving to Canada if Trump wins,” said my 16-year-old daughter on election morning.
“You are not moving to Canada. There’s no way he will win,” I assured her.
Obviously, I don’t know shit.
I mean, what happened? I was so certain that Hillary Clinton would win the election that I went to bed! I didn’t even watch the numbers come in. I thought…there’s no way in hell Trump will win this election. Whoever got him nominated was a perfect agent in the plot to get Hillary Clinton into the oval office. Puuuuuuurfect.
Again, obviously, I don’t know shit.
The next morning, I came down stairs at 4:00am and my spouse said, “He won.”
I replied, “Get the fuck outta here!?! For real, for real???!”
“Yup, for real, for real,” he said.
I remember being in the eighth grade and having a mock election for George H. W. Bush and Michael Dukakis. Ninety-nine percent of my class elected Dukakis. The next day, we thought the majority of adults were stupid.
The morning after the Clinton-Trump election, my 13-year-old son–who was away on an eighth grade sleep-over at The Shaw Nature Reserve–called me.
“Hey, love! I miss you! How are you?” I said, enthusiastically, because I always miss my babies when they are away.
“I’m fine.” Pause. “Did you hear about the election?” Sigh-exhale.
I. Was. Dead. I choked down a chuckle of shear shock because he sounded like a 50-year-old man who just lost his entire retirement. This son of mine sounded deflated, disgusted, and disillusioned. What’s another devastating “d” word? Yup, that one, too.
“Babe, this just means we have to keep doing the good work for our family and our community. It does not change who you are, who you will be, and all the good you will do to make your community better.”
“Yeah. I guess so.”
He wasn’t feeling my rainbow-in-the-cloud moment.
This was the second election that my children reacted strongly to. The first was Obama’s initial run and win. My youngest, who was then 4-years old, came home from preschool on inauguration day and said, “Don’t call me Birago any more. Call me Birag-Obama.” And I chimed, “So you just disowning your whole family now, huh?”
But I understood his four-year old pride… and I understand my teenagers’ disappointment.
The morning post election, I had customers come in flushed-faced, solemn, removed. One of our early-morning customers cried. Real tears. And I assured her we had something to make it better. Most came in that day looking for something to make it better…few came in secretly celebrating Trump’s victory. Sweet treats are typically enjoyed by the right and left, I’ve learned.
Because I do not claim to be an emotional eater any more, I could not justify throwing in my lifestyle commitment and eating pizza and Oreo’s all day just because this election did not turn out how I expected. No siree bob. I collected all of my emotions and had vegetables. Fried vegetables, but hell, vegetables all the same.
You may need some fried vegetables also during these trying times…or enlightening times–some days the adjective changes. And you may feel a little better knowing that they are vegan and gluten-free.
Make this dish soon–and don’t even try to have something healthy with it–just don’t. And know that if this election didn’t turn out how you expected, it doesn’t change who you are, who you will be, and all the good you will do to make your community better.
‘Til next time, Reine
Vegetable Tempura w/Tamari-Sesame Dipping Sauce
Your wet mix…
- 1 cup white rice flour
- 1/3 cup teff flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4-1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups club soda
Mix all these ingredients together and set aside. This is your wet mix.
- 2-3 cups of chopped mixed vegetables (I used broccoli, red bell pepper strips, red onions, and zucchini
You will also need…
- 1 cup of corn starch
- 3 cups of your oil of choice for frying
- a medium-sized pot
- Heat your oil of choice to 350 degrees in a small to medium-sized pot.
- Take your chopped vegetables and place into your corn starch. I sometimes use a large ziploc bag, place my cornstarch in it, then my vegetables and close it… and just shake the hell out of it until the vegetables are covered.
- Place SOME OF your corn-starched vegetables into your wet mix and gently place a small amount in your hot oil. The vegetable will take just a couple of minutes to become golden brown and delicious. Continue until all your vegetables have been fried.
- Remove from oil and place on a brown paper bag to gather the excess oil or on a cooling rack.
Tamari-Sesame Dipping Sauce
- 1/4 cup low-sodium tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
- 3 TBSP water
- 1 TBSP sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp red chili pepper flakes
Directions for sauce: Whisk all these ingredients together and enjoy your tempura vegetables immediately.