For the past five weeks, I’ve been in rehearsal every night with the Cats, enlarging and polishing our repertoire in preparation for our annual Champagne Jamboree, our biggest concert of the year. A whole bunch of alumni come back to Yale for the concert, and all of our friends and family are there and it is such a special night. This is my last year singing with the group, and though it’s bittersweet, I’m looking forward to celebrating all the hard work we’ve done and showing all my friends what I’ve been working on for the past ever (plus by now you know of my proclivity for bitterness, so you shouldn’t be surprised). The show is on Saturday night, and tonight was our last rehearsal. We’ve prepared really well and I’m looking forward to sharing our music with everyone!
Being in such a rigourous rehearsal schedule these past few weeks, I’ve noticed that my eating habits have changed in an interesting way. Usually, I am late supper eater – I like eating in the evening around 8 or so. But because of rehearsal, I found myself eating a meal around 4 or 5, when I got home from class and before work or yoga, and then a snack when I got back from rehearsal around 11:15 at night. I do love eating smaller meals throughout the day in general, but this has developed into a recent trend that I’ve found really interesting.
A few successful experiments have come of this, and I’m going to share them with you over the next few days. This first one is a snack I threw together when I got home from rehearsal last week.
Chloe had made some apple banana mash from some dumpstered fruit, which I puréed into a sauce a few days later. There was a whole bunch and it lasted us a long time! I took some of the sauce and began warming it in a pan on the stove. As it thickened, I stirred in some tahini, which made it unctuous and fluffy as the oils began to blend with the water in the fruit. I also threw in some sunflower seeds for some crunch (you know how I love textural contrast 😉 ). When it had thickened and warmed and fluffed just the right amount, I spooned it into a ramekin (one of my favourite kitchen items, just fyi) and topped it with some microgreens from our CSA.
I was surprised at just how fluffy and smooth the applesauce became with the addition of warm tahini. Originally, I thought to add it to round out the flavour and give it a little savoury halo — the texture thing hadn’t even occurred to me. Don’t you just love that, when something turns out even better than you expected it to? Can’t say that happens too often, but when it does I am just thrilled.
I tucked in and was supremely satisfied. The mouthfeel of the sauce was just divine — hearty and satisfying, yet still light and fruity. And the crunch of the seeds paired with the fresh crispness of the greens was a wonderful textural addition, not to mention the alluring bitter hint of the greens embedded in every sweet-savoury bite.
But I wanted something a little more. I know. I’m hard to please. It was good, but I knew it could be even better.
That’s when I remembered the mason jar of dried coconut in the back of our dry goods cupboard.
You can guess what happened next.
The coconut was an almost luxurious addition to an already satisfying combination. The light crunch of the coconut shavings and their rich, nutty aroma paired perfectly with the sunflower seeds and the tahini. They were the perfect little garnish to seal the deal. I thank the garnish goddess for her divine inspiration in my moment of need.
Though Jam prep is now done, I think I might have to return to this tradition of late-night snack experiments every so often — especially if things like this one keep coming of it.