The first Shumway, Pierre Chamois, a Huguenot, came from Deux Sevres, France in the late 1600s on account of religious persecution. Even though he missed the French Revolution, he was a big fan of liberty and not fond of the monarchy’s treatment of the little guy, and I like to carry on his legacy by eating delicious food and smashing a pinata on Bastille Day.
July 14, 1789, the French peasantry tore down the Bastille fortress-prison brick from brick, symbolically sparking the French Revolution, the end of the Monarchy, and the commencement of the Utopian, socialist society that is modern day France.
I celebrated by making a cake using this insanely delicious recipe from Julia Child’s The Way to Cook. Seriously kids, cake, in my mind, is the one-eyed gimpy vagabond of the dessert kingdom (Pie and his sloppy little brother, cobbler, wear the crown.), but this cake was a cut above its forbears. Middle class landowner, at least.
About this cake (which has a guillotine on it, if you can’t tell). The words “Let them eat cake” are commonly attributed to Marie Antoinette, she actually never said them. In fact, they were penned by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his book Confessions, and he attributed them not to her, but more vaguely to a remarkably obvlious “great princess” when she was told that the peasants had no bread. The things you find out on Wikipedia.
As for the cupcakes, I felt a bit morbid making them, but I contacted a cousin of mine whom I frequently use as a moral guide when I have an idea that seems really, really great but edgy/illegal. She hasn’t led me astray yet, and she counseled that the French Revolution is a morbid holiday, in general. So if you’re going to celebrate it, you’ve got to revel in it. I was pleased with this response.
People were generous enough to bring other delicious hors d’oeuvres, such as cheese puffs, sparkling cider, ice cream, crepes, bread, cheese, crackers, and similar deliciousness. Thanks guys!
We took out our rage against the establishment by beating up a Disney princess pinata which was full of French bread. Vers la bas avec l’aristocratie! Que le peuple mangent du pain!