Here, Try This Thing: Five Recipes for Distractive Cooking
Existential doom bleeding into this wonderful New Year? Or just a really slow pregnancy controlling your mind? With her baby finally here, our Director reports back with some very hot baking intel.By Sophie McComas-Williams
Hot insight regarding the late, stretched stage of pregnancy when it’s slugged on past its due date – there’s a rambling internal monologue side dish to Every Single Suspicious Twinge, a lot of well-meaning “How are you feeling?! I can’t believe your baby isn’t here yet!” to respond to in the DMs, and 5am hunger pangs that truly make you wonder what else you were put on this earth to do if not solely to eat, and then eat again?
Until that tiny, sweet loaf arrived late last year, I needed a distraction from that calendar. But even if you’re not growing new arms, earlobes and tiny genitalia inside your womb, each increasing in size every hour, maybe you need to take your mind off something else. Protests in Washington, perhaps? All this tense argy-bargy with China? Our hot, wet La Niña summer? A rushed vaccine? The back to work gear change? There’s a bit on.
I’ve found mind salve in my kitchen. I’ve made these nutty, hefty banana walnut waffles, which pack just enough nutmeg to feel all kinds of comfort, and sort of good for you. Eat one, freeze the rest, then pop them in the toaster in times of need to re-crisp. Just like a Pop Tart, only better and minus the palm oil.
I’ve made these scones packed with sweet nubs of date and you should too, but subbed pouring cream in place of milk, mostly because I had it on hand and the extra fat makes them more flaky, but also because I was 41 weeks pregnant at the time and fuck it, folks! Keeping on the scone train to mind-body freedom, I had a crack at Cherry Moon’s incredible ‘nduja drop scones too, sans ‘nduja (the deli was too far to waddle at that point) and made them all spicy, cheesy and seedy.
It can’t and shouldn’t be all breakfast though, and these recipes so far are fast. Too fast, really, to aid in any real longer-term distraction from the waters within. What we need next are A1 Bakery’s spinach triangles. This recipe calls for an entire kilo of flour, and makes more than 10 individual pies! 10! It’ll take you the chunky part of the day - which is the kind of distraction fuel you’re clearly thirsty for since you’ve shlepped so far in this piece. Thank you! The dough is more short and crisp olive-oil bread than pastry, which I really, really dig. I add feta and grated halloumi to mine though, because a spinach pie without cheese is just missing something in my books (fat, it’s missing fat).
You can stuff most things inside a dumpling wrapper, spend 40 minutes folding them perfectly and call it a perfect distraction dinner (tofu, spinach, mushrooms, cabbage, carrots, lamb! or silky eggplant), but if you haven’t made them before, this recipe for pork and garlic chive jiaozi is an ideal place to start your trip. Then sit, wrap, fold. Sit, wrap, fold. No time to think, you’ve gotta sit, wrap, fold.
Keen for more recipes? Try these Intergalactic Snacks, developed by Buffet:
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