I switched departments in my company a little over a year ago. The work I do now is a lot more interesting, but the environment is … less fun. I used to work with a team the handled Canadian trades only, then switched to the International side. The work in both departments is very stressful. They are high risk jobs with tight deadlines. My old department dealt with the stress by joking around and helping each other out. Even though there was a lot of pressure coming to work was fun.
Now it’s every man for himself. In my new department I sit beside a man who swears all day long and likes to slam his phone. The other day he picked it up and slammed it down even though it wasn’t even ringing. I think he got an email that upset him; you can’t slam an email.
I’m thinking of starting a swear jar in the office. I’m pretty sure it will pay for my morning coffee. It might even cover lunch sometimes. And if it manages to curb the swearing, then it will make coming to work that much more pleasant.
Until the day my neighbour calms down, I have an afternoon ritual that gets me through the day. Just before 3PM (when the Fed closes and things get extra stressful), I make myself a tea, put on my noise reducing headphones, and I listen to music that makes me happy. This afternoon it was Graceland. Sometimes it’s the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.
If I’ve got my act together, I have a piece of cake with my tea. This cake is one of my favourites. It’s a modification of one of my moms recipes. She uses raisins and walnuts, and puts an orange glaze on the cake. Today was particularly bad, and I could have used a little glaze on my cake, so I’ll post the recipe for even though I didn’t use it.
Orange Tea Loaf
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- zest of one orange, divided
- juice of one orange
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup pistachios
- orange zest (leftover from cake)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 4-5 tsp milk
- Preheat the oven to 350, line a loaf pan with parchment paper (or grease it)
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla and 1 tsp orange zest.
- Add 1/2 the flour mixture the butter, mix well. Stir in the orange juice and yogurt, followed by the remaining flour. Stir in the cranberries and pistachios.
- Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Test the loaf after an hour with a toothpick to see if its done.
- Once done, let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then cool on a wire rack.
- For the glaze: Stir together the powdered sugar, vanilla, milk, and remaining orange zest. Pour over cooled cake.