I’ve been reading far too many blogs written by beautiful women, living in New York with their handsome husbands, adorable chubby babies, and even cuter dogs. I know people only post the prettiest pictures and most memorable moments in their lives, but these little snippets are pretty damn perfect. Whenever I see photographs of these bloggers wandering around Brooklyn or Manhattan, I pine to return. I can still feel the frosty winter air biting the tip of my nose; I can still smell the sour fumes, the strong coffee, and those enormous, freshly baked bagels in every delicious flavour imaginable. I can still taste those sugary cupcakes, with peanut butter buttercream and chunks of chocolate chips from Crumbs Bake Shop. I’d bite into them with childish enthusiasm, ‘mmmmmmming’ and ‘oooooooooing’ at the sheer scrumptiousness. I can still see the power walkers, the strollers, the photographers, the street art, the soaring buildings, the tourists in awe, and the pure exhilaration of it all.
Anyway, getting to the point…. (I can talk about New York all afternoon). I’m not actually sure how babies, puppies and city life inspired this urge to bake banana bread. Maybe it was my maternal instinct kicking in and I yearned to create something? God, I can’t wait to have babies (but that’ll be another post, in about four year’s time, after the wedding and all). So, I spent a couple of hours in the kitchen, listening to some old jazz music, humming along, mixing flour, getting it in my hair, licking the peanut butter spoon, dropping eggs on the floor, burning coconut oil – the usual kitchen disasters. I like spending time alone – I’m a hardcore hermit, but on this particular afternoon, I longed for a house full of Labradors, family members scattered about the place, drinking tea and reminiscing about childhood memories, and kids running wild with the animals, laughing, playing hide & seek and filling every room with utter happiness. Lately, these thoughts come to mind quite frequently. I grew up in a hectic house, full of music, siblings, family, friends, so I’m used to that craziness, you know…. but since flying the nest two years ago, everything just feels a tad too quiet for my liking. Even when I was alone, Olly was always sat right by my side (the dog that looks like a bear and acts like a human), so, I was never really on my own. I suppose that’s why I’m looking forward to Christmas, because it’s a chance to bring all that familiar chaos back together.
The Banana Bread –
2 large ripe bananas
180g gluten free flour (buckwheat/hemp etc…)
2½ tsp baking powder
2tbsp of organic honey
4 tbsp melted peanut butter
1tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milled flax, pumpkin & sesame seeds & goji berries (I used Linwoods from H&B)
50g walnuts and/or sultanas
Shredded coconut for the festive topping
- · Preheat the oven to 170ºC/gas mark 3/325ºF. Put the flour, baking powder, and milled flax, pumpkin, sesame seeds and goji berries into a medium-sized bowl and, using your hands or a wooden spoon, combine well.
- · In a large bowl, mix the melted peanut butter and honey and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas. Stir in the walnuts and sultanas and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit. Scrape into a loaf tin (23 x 13 x 7cm / 9 x 5 x 3 inches) and bake in the middle of the oven for an hour. When it’s ready, an inserted toothpick or fine skewer should come out cleanish.
Leave in the tin on a rack to cool, and then pour over the coconut sprinkles (pretending its snow).