Over the past month, I’ve enjoyed waking up to quietness and going about my morning routine alone. I’ve become accustomed to the ease and speed of making breakfast for one and am strangely comforted by hours of wordless peace spent in an ambient living room. It’s been calming after months of enjoyable but tiring trips to and from friends apartments to just… Be in my own place.
I’ve found a new routine for my Saturdays, and it involves folding myself up on the couch, burying my legs in my pullover and balancing a mug of enriched coffee on my kneecaps. My garage sale coffee maker, who’s loyally followed me through three moves, fills the otherwise silent room with comforting sputtering and clicking. My only companion, that Mr. Coffee, is the in-house DJ all morning.
I eat folded eggs on toast, all Pollock’d up with Frank’s Red Hot, while scanning my planner for the day’s obligations and chores. Homework. Reading. A half-assed shopping list. Slowly distorted by a dusting of crumbs, the tasks below become easier to swallow as I file them away for the coming hours.
I take time each morning to admire the cool blue glow of the dawn on drawn shades; typically while folded up on the couch with that first mug of the day. It’s a mundane thing that I, for whatever reason, look forward to after peeling away covers and a thin veil of sleep in my bedroom. I guess it’s become the anchor of my morning, that silly illumination, reminding me that the day is just outside my window, patiently waiting for me to come out and play.
The weekends now, after quite some time, are mine.
Grapefruit Cake via A Thought for Food and Saveur
I asked for grapefruit ideas on Twitter a few days ago and was reminded of this recipe by Rosie of Sweetapolita. I was not disappointed! The cake comes out buttery and nicely dense. I’d like to try it with brown sugar in place of white and bananas instead of grapefruit – I’ll get back to you when I do!
3/4 c + 1 Tbsp (115g) flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp (57g) butter, softened
2/3 c (131g) sugar
2/3 egg*, room temp
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 c (60ml) milk
4 oz (113g) cream cheese
1 c (156g) powdered sugar, more or less to taste
*You could probably use one egg and it would be fine, but I beat the egg in one bowl and scooped out about one third before adding to the recipe
Preheat the oven to 350F. Oil and line a 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan.
Zest the grapefruit and set aside. Peel and segment the grapefruit, place the slices in a small bowl. Into another small bowl, squeeze the remaining pulp (all the bits that are not segments) and reserve the juice for the recipe.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, then set aside. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until very light and fluffy, about five minutes. Beat in the egg and mix until well-combined, about two minutes. Add three tablespoons of grapefruit juice and the vanilla and beat to combine, about two additional minutes, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Dump in half of the dry ingredients and mix briefly to incorporate. Add the milk and mix just until combined, then follow with the remaining dry ingredients.
Place half of the reserved grapefruit segments into the bottom of the prepared baking tin. Pour the batter over the top and smooth to cover. Bake until the top springs back when lightly pressed, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool on a cooling rack.
While the cake cools, prepare the frosting. Melt the cream cheese in the microwave and whisk in the powdered sugar, 1-2 tablespoons of remaining grapefruit juice and a few pinches reserved grapefruit zest. Spread over cooled cake and top with the second half of segmented grapefruit.