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I would like to avoid having to do this every time I post. So, it should probably be part of my theme template.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can add custom CSS to your theme without modifying it by going to Customize -> Advanced.

Hence to add a grey background to your <code> you can paste this in the "Add custom CSS" textarea:

pre, code {
 background-color: LightGrey;
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