I’ve been laying low for the last few weeks. Life has thrown me some complicated curve balls and going off the radar seemed like the right thing to do. I’ve missed blogging and the sense of community that comes with it but finding the enthusiasm to get into the kitchen and prepare food has been difficult at best, writing about it seemed that much harder again. I’m not one to do things by halves so instead I made a call to withdraw into my own mind for a little while, rebuild and find my centre. I’m still a long way from finding this centre but I am getting there. Healing is a confronting process, it forces you into a corner that is uncomfortable and inescapable. I lurch from feeling ‘ok’ to wanting nothing more than to sleep another day away. Even though the physical ailments are behind me, the emotional wounds are still very much open. It will take time and there is no easy fix. Perhaps at a point in the future I will be able to talk more about ‘what happened’ but at this stage know that I’m being well looked after and doing my best to be kind to myself and heal. I’d like to thank you all for your wonderful words of support and wisdom, for caring enough to send me messages and let me know you were thinking of me. In those moment of despair I took comfort in your words and they helped lift the fog of grief that enveloped me, especially in the early stages.
I suppose one piece of news I can give you at this point is that I have started eating meat again. Some of you will be shocked about this, others won’t bat an eyelid – many of you will be somewhere in between. In my lowest moments I needed to relinquish control and allow others to take care of me. When a plate of food was placed in front of me I ate it and allowed it to nourish me, it was a relief not to have to worry about cooking or feeding myself. I didn’t have the energy or space to argue, to resist things and find an alternative, I simply didn’t have the capacity. So when a piece of chicken was offered to me, something I haven’t eaten in almost two years, I gratefully accepted. I have laboured over this decision for many days now, trying to find the words to explain myself and then I realised how silly all of that was. This is my decision and I’m owning it. I’ve had time to think about my approach to all of this now that life is starting to make sense again and I know that I would like to keep eating as much vegetarian food as possible. These last 18 months (or so) of my meat free experiment have been deliciously inspiring, I have mastered a great many vegetarian dishes and know that it is possible to eat well without eating meat and I’d like to continue to do so as often as possible, but if you start seeing the occasional piece of meat featured on these pages then you will know why.
Now onto the cake. This is my go to banana cake recipe, it seemed fitting to post something like this to mark my return to food blogging after a month of silence. It’s a versatile recipe and I make it whenever there are banana’s getting a little too ripe on the counter. The bare bones are simple; eggs, buttermilk, oil, flour and banana – additional layers of flavour and texture can be added depending on your mood and what you have available. I like to use dark muscovado sugar to the batter because it gives a rich golden colour and a deeper sweetness than regular sugar, but if you’ve only get ‘regular’ sugar then that will be ok too. I don’t tend to bother with icing the cake and instead add a little sugar and coconut to the top of the cake before baking but if you’d rather ice it then a little cream cheese, lemon and icing sugar whipped together will do the trick. A handful of chocolate chips makes it extra special, as does a hint of lemon zest. It will last a solid week in an airtight container in the fridge, it also freezes well wrapped in greaseproof paper.
It’s good to be back.
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ⅓ cup Rice Bran Oil
- 2 bananas (very ripe)
- 1 tspn vanilla essence
- ⅓ cup dark muscovado sugar
- ⅓ cup raw sugar + 1 tspn
- 1 cup self-raising flour
- ½ cup wholemeal self-raising flour
- ¼ tspn nutmeg
- ½ tspn cinnamon
- 1 tspn desiccated coconut
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
- Line and grease a loaf tin.
- Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, bananas and vanilla.
- Add the sugars (leaving aside 1 tspn of raw sugar) and beat well until the sugars have dissolved.
- Add the flours and spices until combined.
- Pour batter into prepared tin and sprinkle raw sugar and coconut on the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes until cooked.
- Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from the tin.