...but not really - I just didn't know where to find anything.

The counter was a mess once I finished - I don't how food bloggers make it seem so easy and clean
The roommate and I made some banana bread a few weeks ago. I must have felt a lot fancier than I realized because last week I decided to bake a cake. What follows is my account of the endeavour and the sheer innovation (or stubbornness) that comes when you've already committed to making it but don't have the right ingredients.

The Recipe: Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

My Version: Slightly Shambly Roasted Blueberry-Tangerine-Chocolate Chip Cake

I learned that:

Baking in a kitchen you're unfamiliar is like [insert witty analogy here or just say "is frustrating"].

It took awhile. I'm happy that the actual owners were patient and didn't tell me to get off each time I said, "Where's the (olive oil, parchment sheets, buttermilk, oven, strawberries, etc.)??"

Strawberries can be replaced with blueberries and tangerines

There were no strawberries but I was really in the zone to bake. I made a big fuss about finding a skillet (still not sure why I had to bake it in a skillet) and I was going to make a delicious cake. So I decided to hustle. I searched for whatever fruits were in the house and blueberries and tangerines came out of the woodwork. I told myself that if people commented on the odd combination, I'd say it had to do with my artistic proclivities to use complementary colours.

Milk and lemon juice are an excellent substitute for buttermilk

Though technically I can't make that judgement because I don't know what buttermilk is supposed to do. I just know that I tried it, I baked the cake, and no one's complained about running belly yet.

Google Knows All

This will incur shame (as it should) but here's the list of my Google searches during my time as a master chef:

"What are buttermilk substitutes?"
"Can you put aluminum in the oven?" (I couldn't find parchment sheets and I have experience with foil in a microwave.)
"Can you put glass in the oven?" (I needed to melt butter and for some reason using the microwave didn't occur until after I did this search.)
"What is turbinado sugar?" (Because I only know about brown and white.)

There you have it. The cake turned out fine and people said they liked it. I liked it but I'm still debating whether all the slices I ate were because of how tasty it was or because I knew how much work went into it.

The song is "Ballin On'a Budget" by a group called Dormtainment. They make funny videos and this one gives me joy.

That's my story. A bit off topic but cooking is still creating, no? Exams are starting so I won't be dong much here (because I was doing so well these past couple of months). That's why I'm writing this up before things get too busy. During the holiday, I plan to keep up with this more. Best of luck with whatever's going on in your life at the moment.

Thanks for reading,


  1. Keren,
    I love this and I love you. Let's bake together sometime!

    1. Aww Soyoon! And yes. We should. =D

  2. I had a similar issue recently when I needed buttermilk for spicy blue fried chicken (Absolutely delicious) and when I looked up the recipe for butter milk it was just that. Milk and lime juice. Or it also said milk and vinegar which I used. SWORE I'D NEED BUTTER.

    Anyway, cool budget recipe. I suggest putting the name of the dish in the title so that people might stumble upon it if they use those search terms.

    1. I know right? And the chicken sounds good. Thanks for the tip about putting the name in the title.

  3. lol! my girl seh she nuh shame and put up the Google searches.
    If more people did that, imagine the jokes (and shame) that would ensue :D

    1. =D I feel like on some levels, the world would be a better place.


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