Thursday, November 25, 2010

St. Louis-style sweetness

As a native St. Louisan, I grew up on a steady diet of toasted ravioli and gooey butter cake, the former of which I would never dare to attempt to make, but the latter of which is easy as pie. A lot easier than pie, actually. It's a very sweet confection that serves as both an unhealthy breakfast food (think coffee cake) and an unhealthy dessert (think lemon bar).

It consists of two layers. The bottom is yellow cake mix, butter and eggs, all blended together. The top layer is powdered sugar, cream cheese and eggs. You can find recipes online with other twists, like pumpkin or chocolate, but I've only ever made the straight-up original, as my mom used to around Christmas. I made it to take to my brother's for the holiday weekend; I am now waiting for it to cool. It looks a little on the underdone side to me, even though I cooked it longer than I usually do. That's one of the many disadvantages of having had about 10 addresses in as many years -- all ovens are a little different, so for things I make occasionally, there's always some guesswork. We'll see.

But at least I've had ovens, which brings me to my list of five things I am thankful for this holiday season:

1. An oven. More specifically, the fact I have a place to live and that it has the appliances I would need to bake; I am also thankful to have the money to buy ingredients, the time to bake, and the health to be able to move freely around and do so.

2. Job offers. Looking for work can be stressful, and I know I'm very fortunate to have come into great opportunities so early in the year.

3. Access to the big city. I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to live in New York over the summer, to get to visit there this weekend, and to move there permanently after graduation!

4. Yale SOM. I go to a great school, which I don't really say enough. Case in point: This past week, members of Q+ (of which I am a co-leader) wrote an eloquent letter to Student Academic Services asking them to reconsider their annual policy that prohibits mixed-gender hotel arrangements on the first-years' required International Experience trip. They listened, agreed with our point of view and announced a change in the policy, all in a matter of days. That's one of the reasons I love it here -- it's a small enough school that it does feel like a tight-knit community where you can get things done, and the people here are pleasant, reasonable and responsive.

5. You. Thanks for taking the time to look at my blog and read this list. That's very kind, and I appreciate it. 

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