There is a bit of an intersection between overactive foodie-ism and helicopter parenting. I get wanting to feed your kids healthy food. I buy my ramen at the health food store! The one foodie book I have ever read (unless you count a brief college obsession with Diane Ackerman), “The Botany of Desire,” has an amazing bit where the author gives his son the son’s first taste of sugar and describes the child’s ecstatic reaction and instant desire for more.
So when this woman wrote in to the nice folks at the kitchn looking for a sugar-free birthday cake, it didn’t seem that unreasonable. I thought, oh, they are going to suggest barley malt or maple or something, and they did give a link to a vegan cake recipe—although vegans eat sugar so that logic is a bit murky.
But then they suggested serving a wheel of cheese. Specifically, “truffle infused aged goat cheese.” Can you imagine blowing out the candles on a big circle of cheese and then watching your parents serve it up to your friends? Instant pariah! Plus, how healthy is a big hunk of cheese?
The other suggestion was for a cake “made with ground chicken and a pretty piped topping of mashed potatoes colored with beet juice.” This reminds me of when my friend Kaila’s mom threw out their family’s TV in 6th grade and we all felt so sorry for her but we were like, never going there again. And this was California in the seventies. My next-door-neighbors made their own yogurt. But they still had frigging CAKE.