I wanted to bake today. Truly. A dear friend is in town and I wanted to bake a treat for her. So I read a few recipes, watched a few cat videos, read completely unrelated articles, did some on-line window shopping and hankered after kitchen gadgets that I neither need, nor do I have any place to store. I don’t even know how to use this 2 in 1 Pop Up Vegetables & Fruits Peeler, but now my life is incomplete without one. Truly.
In other words, I have nothing to show for the past hour except the new-found knowledge that tomatoes need peeling, and there exists in this world, is a special device which can do such a task. How have I reached middle age without peeled tomatoes?! Truly blasphemous.
So there, no baking. If I had baked, for the record, it would have been this dulce de leche cheesecake. Perhaps tomorrow, if the internet does not ruin my evening by broadening my horizons.
Between my dreams of baking and of this mini-cat blackboard, I have left myself 15 minutes to put dinner together. So what’s it going to be? Super-fast creamy spinach toast, I say. Chop some onions and fry with some green chillies in butter. Add some chopped spinach with a pinch of soda bi-carb. Dissolve a tablespoon of cornflour in about a cup of milk and add with some salt. Turn the heat up to medium and stir till the mix thickens. Spread on some toasted whole-wheat bread and grate on some cheese. Bake for a few minutes. Or just serve with some toast on the side.
Ciao for now. I need to go look at cookware sets for a bit and hum a Kenny Loggins favorite
“So help me if you can, I’ve got to get
Back to the house at Pooh Corner by one You’d be surprised, there’s so much to be done Count all the bees in the hive Chase all the clouds from the sky“
I thought of this: I thought of how every day each of us experiences a few little moments that have just a bit more resonance than other moments – Douglas Coupland
Last weekend, I awoke, the first in the house to stir, after a late night spent catching up with SG’s brother and his wife, over drinks and food at their place. I spent an hour or so, in the winter sun, reading the newspaper and listening to the flowers dancing in the breeze. My six-year niece woke up next, in a whirlwind of instant energy and with the absolute determination to make the most of every moment that only children possess. We chatted, by her pet goldfish, as she explained their feeding and cleaning routine. Just a few moments of nothing spectacular, no grand thoughts or epiphanies. Just a few moments of sipping the early morning sunshine and being content in the resonance.
Such simplicity requires comfort food, which by definition is no-fuss and easy to throw together. That weekend morning, the BIL took care of breakfast and dished up grilled sandwiches while I sat with my feet up a little longer. Yesterday, for my second breakfast (there are indulgent days when you require two), I put this bread dish together in exactly ten minutes. The other definition of comfort food is that it should bring back childhood memories and this was practically a staple while growing up. I think my mom made it differently, this has kind of devolved in my kitchen, becoming simpler and super-easy to do. Chop some green chillies, onions and tomatoes. In some ghee/oil, heat some cumin seeds, chuck in the onion and chillies, and sauté for a bit. Add the tomatoes, some red chili powder and turmeric, salt, and chopped ginger if you have any handy. Roughly chop up some sliced bread (I had some which were floating at their best by eat) and mix in. Saute some more and garnish with coriander. You can add diced bell peppers or spring onion (greens and all) or even grate in some carrot. Comfort food is also very forgiving and difficult to screw up.
Here’s wishing you some comfort food, resonance and perfect moments. XO.
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 cup mashed over-ripe bananas
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup chopped walnuts and 1/4 chopped almonds
Prepare a loaf tin by greasing and flouring.
Whisk together flour, cinnamon and salt.
In the stand mixer, or by hand, beat the butter, honey and sugar for a couple of minutes. Lightly whisk in the eggs. And the vanilla and the banana. Gradually add in flour mixture, pausing in between to scrape down the sides if using a stand mixer.
Heat the water and add the baking soda. Gently beat into the batter. Mix in the chopped nuts.
Pour into the tin and bake for about 50 minutes checking for doneness.
I garnished mine, before baking with almond flakes, and some demerrara for that special crunch.
I remember being undecided about adding chopped chocolate (the original recipe calls for 1/2 cup chocolate chips) or some sunflower seeds that I had handy. I don’t recall if I added either, neither or both.