Archie is stressed.
And over-worked and over-tired.
It’s because Rent opens in just over two weeks and Archie is feeling the pressure. He says Jonathon Larson wrote a musical score that can kill a singer’s voice because of the range the performer has to sing coupled with the length of time his character has to sing during each performance.
And Archie says he learned to sing without first having lessons and so he was singing with a lot of bad habits that now have to be unlearned with the proper methods instilled to turn him into a singer who can have a career without getting throat nodules.
He also has harrowing memories of performing in The Girl From Maxim’s in the role of Dr Petypon where he was pretty much on stage for the entire show. Two-thirds of the way into the scheduled performances Archie lost his voice. I had to take him to a Chinese herbalist and a range of other practitioners to try and get his voice back and was only marginally successful. In the last performance he was almost mute.
And so we are all doing our best to be supportive of Archie and I’m keeping up the supplies of Manuka honey and Vitamin C and echinacea and trying not to say too many times, ‘It would also help if you didn’t have so many late nights’, and, ‘It’s winter; before going outside you should wear more than a singlet top’, and, ‘Thai pork belly isn’t usually eaten for breakfast’.
As well as looking after his voice, Archie says he is looking after his body – his temple. I may have previously mentioned to you his new diet. It is carb free and he’d also prefer it to be gluten-free and dairy-free and sugar-free. He thinks you can survive on protein.
One morning after I dropped Alfie at school, I came home to find an empty container on the kitchen bench. The night before it had 1kg of cooked chipolata sausages in it. I buy them for Alfie’s lunch box. There must have been 40 sausages in that container (once) so in shock I just stood there staring at it.
When Archie came home from Uni I gently asked, ‘Did you have a nice lunch?’
‘What did you have?’
‘Did you take all the sausages that were in the fridge?’
‘Yes, they were great, thanks’. The day had been a win. No carbs and a kilo of protein.
This morning Archie wasn’t happy and it was all to do with the loaf of cafe toast I’d bought to enjoy with the honey we brought home from the Mudgee Food and Wine Fair. ‘What did you buy that for?’ asked Archie all annoyed.
‘To make toast’.
‘But it’s full of carbs’.
‘Not everyone in this house is only eating protein’, I said. But the problem was that the temptation was too much for Archie and next thing he was popping two slices into the toaster. And then he took the rest of the butter chicken curry (minus the rice) to take to Uni where they don’t even have a microwave so he can heat it.
So, as he is putting in 12-hour rehearsal days five days a week, I thought I’d cheer him up by making him some raw, vegan protein balls. These will be excellent to take to Uni and a change from chipolatas and they don’t need to be heated.
And just as an aside, if you would like to see Archie perform in Rent, here are the dates. Some performances have sold out so you do need to book promptly. Tania and her Skater who attends the same Uni but is doing a different course have booked tickets for Wednesday, September 4.
Sunday, 1st September – 2pm
Monday, 2nd of September – 11am
Tuesday, 3rd of September – 6:30pm
Wednesday, 4th of September – 11am
BOOK TICKETS HERE:
Raw, Vegan Protein Balls
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: I bought all the seeds, nuts and dried fruits from Scoop Wholefoods. This way I could buy the exact quantities I needed. The medjool dates were the most expensive because they are organic and cost just under $30/kg. The total cost of everything I needed to buy (apart from the tahini, cinnamon, agave and cocoa that I already had at home) was $15.00. Archie normally buys protein balls from the local greengrocer and these cost $3.00 each so by making your own, they are costing you a third of what you’d otherwise pay.
- 100g pecans, lightly toasted
- 100g almonds, lightly toasted
- 2tbspns linseed, sunflower seeds and/or pepitas
- 100g medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- 100g soft dried apricots or figs
- 100g pitted prunes
- 1tbspn tahini or peanut butter
- 1tbspn cinnamon
- 2tbspns cocoa
- 2tbspns agave or honey (but using honey would make this non-vegan)
- dessicated coconut to decorate them
Combine the pecans, almonds and seeds in a food processor and whiz until fine crumbs. Add the dates, figs and prunes and whiz until smooth. Add the tahini, cacao powder, cinnamon, agave (or honey) and sea salt and whiz for two minutes or until the mixture starts to form into a ball.
Divide into golf ball-sized portions and roll into balls between lightly wet palms. Roll in coconut, and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Note: You absolutely need a food processor to make these but having said that, I don’t have one! I ground down the nuts and seeds in my nut and spice grinder (it took a lot longer), then I chopped and chopped and chopped the dried fruit until my arm muscles could no longer take the strain. I pounded the mixture together with my bare hands and had no trouble with it all coming together. I doubt you can tell the difference. However, if you want to make these quickly and effortlessly, I highly recommend investing in a food processor.
This recipe has been adapted from the Good Food website.
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