This week, Andrew and I saw Waiting For Godot at the Stratford Festival with our friends Trish and Cliff. We’re fortunate to live fairly close to Stratford, Ontario, and I try to make it to the festival twice each summer. In the past, I’ve seen shows both deep (Hamlet, King Lear) and light (The Pirates of Penzance); this year we saw one of each, the other being Blithe Spirit.
According to the program notes, the play was informed by Samuel Beckett’s wartime experiences in France, where he was a member of the Resistance and, like Vladimir and Estragon, slept in ditches and survived on scavenged turnips. An early critic described Godot as being “a play where nothing happens, twice”. The combination of humour (sometimes slapstick) and pathos is deeply moving, and says more about human nature than almost any other work of literature I’ve read. I can’t help but think it’s as timely now as the day it was written. As Allan Pero writes, “(t)he disturbing, almost tragic element of the play … occurs not because it is so alien to us, but because it is all too familiar.”
I loved the show, partly because it’s a great production, and partly because I’d been anticipating it for so long. Waiting for Godotis a classic that I read in university, and that I’ve wanted to see ever since. (I guess it’s fitting that it took me so long, although it would be even more appropriate if I’d never seen it.)
I didn’t wait thirty years to make this crumble – once I saw it, I knew I had to try it. With mangoes and raspberries at their seasonal peaks, it’s the perfect time of year to make it. The crumble is so perfect, even Andrew – who doesn’t like mangoes at all, and tells me so every summer when I load up the kitchen with them – succumbed quite happily to its charms.
“Estragon: I can’t go on like this.
Vladimir: That’s what you think.”
– Samual Beckett, Waiting for Godot
Mango Raspberry Crumble
(adapted from Martha Stewart)
1/2 cup all purpose flour (first amount)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/4 cup rolled oats
5 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 pint raspberries
1 Tbsp all purpose flour (second amount)
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1/2 cup flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and oats. Mix on low for 30 seconds, then add butter and mix until clumps form, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Peel mangoes and cut flesh into 1-inch chunks. Add raspberries. Add remaining 1 Tbsp flour, granulated sugar and lime juice; toss gently to combine.
Transfer fruit to a shallow 1 1/2 quart (1.5 liter) baking dish. Distribute topping evenly over fruit. Bake until topping is golden brown and juices bubble, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.