I was at a yard sale recently with a theme: Kids for Obama, and while I felt certain the kids were induced to sell their toys to make some money unaware that their profits would be mailed to a political campaign, I felt compelled to buy a brownie 1) because I love brownies, and 2) because if eating brownies can help Obama win the election, I will devour a pan full of chocolate goodness. I will not shirk my civic duty. Of course, the $2 price tag for a minuscule brownie square was a bit steep, but it was a fundraiser so I paid up and ate my rich, chocolatey brownie, thinking they must have used some high quality chocolate in these brownie, Scharffen Berger perhaps? They kids were, after all, elitist Democrats.
Buying brownies from these unwitting political pawns reminded me of an ex-boyfriend who was appalled that I once bought food from kids at a lemonade stand—kids who charged a reasonable 50 cents for their brownies and looked at the shiny quarters as better than chocolate. You don’t know what’s in those brownies, my ex said. I suppose you are taking a leap when you buy food from a stranger, but the likelihood that the kids or their families would spend time organizing a yard sale only to spike the brownies with arsenic seemed low. Plus, it would be easy enough to trace the suspicious goods back to the address and have the evildoers arrested. That being said, I have cooked with kids and know that the real danger is that they’re slobbering little germs apt to lick their fingers and stick them back in the bowl.