We’ve been doing a lot of cooking around here. At the Theatre Royal, we’ve been cooking up a show. And at home... well, I’m kind of embarrassed at how much baking I’ve been doing. Completely unprecedented.
This year, we’ve been cooking (and shopping) communally, which I love. Not only is it cheaper, but there’s something about coming home at 5:30 and making dinner together that helps ease the petty frustrations of our work day. We get our own breakfasts before we run out the door to head to rehearsals and shows, and lunches are pretty much always eaten at the theatre, so dinner is the main event. This year there is a tall twenty year-old in the cast and in my house, so I’m cooking and baking for an appreciative audience. Maybe that’s why I’m enjoying it so much.
The first week I was here, I was craving sugar all the time. After a few days I realized that it was because I hadn’t had a drink since I got up here and I’d had an epic (for me) night of drinking the night before I left (making for a blurry and nauseous bus ride the next day, ugh). But I was chomping my way through treats at the general store every day and it was getting unhealthy and expensive. So I figured I might as well start making my own. I started with what was around the house. Orangette had posted a recipe for cream cheese pound cake that sounded simple and tasty, so I made that. Oh, and 3 fruit crumbles (1 for a co-worker who lives down the road, 1 for the theatre, and 1 for the house). A former roommate had left a bag of whole wheat flour so I used that and everything was a little hearty-tasting, but not too bad. The sugar cravings abated somewhat.
A few days ago I used up the last of a jar of Kraft peanut butter making 9 tasty flourless peanut butter cookies (recipe on the jar). Needless to say, nine cookies lasted all of oh, ten minutes? Yesterday I begged a bag of all-purpose flour from Norma at the general store (she didn’t have any in store but she sold me a bag of her own stuff later).
Today is our second day off. It’s still early in the season, so we aren’t mixing too much with the other employees in the park, the street interpreters and the like. Rehearsals on top of shows make us too tired to stay up late yet. There is a peaceful quality to our time off because we all just hang around the house in a sleepy way most of the day. The pound cake was almost gone. It was time to get out the baking pans once again. I made Orangette’s French Yoghurt Cake, and also a banana bread. The Yoghurt Cake is cooling on the counter as I write, and I can say that it is simple and delicious, just as the recipe promised, because I didn’t wait ‘til it was cooled before I cut myself a slice. Tangy, moist and lemony.
The banana bread is just finishing up in the oven and I will be curious as to how it turns out, because I messed with the recipe a bit. Ground almonds subbing for some of the flour, added maple syrup (because why not?) and sour cream (ditto). It may be odd, but it’ll probably taste pretty neat. And if not, I bet there’s a certain twenty year-old roomie who’ll eat it anyway.