Monday, September 14, 2009


The first week of school is a beautiful thing. This semester, my day begins with an 8:45 French class and goes straight on until 5:30: three classes, breaks for lunch and gym, and sometimes work afterwards. And of course, on top of classes, and the energy spent navigating through the campus between classes, the social pressures begin to sink in as well - "Oh my god, I haven't seen you in four months, coffee after class?", "I'm moving again, come to my housewarming party!", "Everybody's back, let's resurrect [lunch at popular diner/Wine Club/Croissant breaks/etc.]!".
However, good or bad, school or social life,
stress is still stress.

And when I am stressed, I instinctively grab some butter, sugar, and flour and eggs. With a bowl resting in one hand and a spatula in the other, I can whip away my problems and instantly return to the happy world (that now exclusively exists in my head) where deadlines and due dates don't exist. I recall everal nights last year where, when legs of my desk were cracking under the weight of articles, textbooks, random notes and papers, and a dangerously loaded laptop, comfort could be found in the smell of cinnamon cookies at 3 AM, fresh from the oven. However, the first few weeks of school do not allow even the briefest of escapes, not even for 15 minute peanut butter cookies, and so as the stress mounted and mounted, with it grew the urgency to bake.

This weekend, I went to my friend's apartment and spent two days and $60 worth of groceries to make meringues, tarts, two varieties of cupcakes, a chocolate valentino cake, ratatouille, creme brulee, milan cookies, and vanilla ice cream.

To put all of this in perspective, over the course of this baking spree, we used two blocks (8 sticks) of butter, two cartons (24) of eggs, almost an entire bag of flour, and enough sugar to send anyone into a diabetic coma.

However, to de-stress was the plan, and de-stress we did! Who knew that scurrying around the kitchen near very hot stoves and ovens for hours on end was just what we needed after the dreaded first week of school?
We also have enough cupcakes to give us the sugar-boost anytime cupcake therapy is needed over the course of the next week (although knowing her roommates, maybe not...).

At the end of each day, we set the table, asked one of the boys to make a run for chicken or wine, put on some jazz, and all sat down, family-style, to indulge in our creations.
And, really, at the end of any day, food and friends are what you ever really need.

As the great Julia Child would say, Bon appetite!