Tuesday, August 11, 2009
When people find out that I have a food blog, they wonder why I do what I do. They often say, "Really?! A whole blog just about recipes and food?"
To which I answer, "Yes, a whole blog just about recipes and food."
We food bloggers all have our reasons for doing what we do. For me, it's about reaching out to people around the world and connection with them through the shared experience of food. It's about coming together around the dinner table as a family, as friends, even as an internet community. It's just pretty darn cool that someone in Oregon made my mom's squash casserole for so that their kids would enjoy eating vegetables . . or that someone in England made my zucchini bread for a neighbor who had surgery . . . or someone in Chicago make my mother-in-law's chicken squares to prove to her boyfriend that she could actually cook.
But as much as it is for others that we do what we do, I think we food bloggers have to admit that we do it for ourselves, too. There is something about this blog that feeds my soul, that grounds me, that inspires me. It's an escape for me, but it's also something that centers me and defines me. These recipes are part of my most sacred and precious memories - they are part of my family.
But despite all this . . . for the most part, we food bloggers don't "get personal." And I think that's why this food blogger's story struck such a chord with me.
You need to go read Jess' story to truly understand. But in some strange way, blogging about "just food and recipes" has a way of strengthening us and providing that nourishment in life that only the exercise of creativity and community can provide, so that we have the courage to face the big life challenges that present themselves in "the real world."
So . . . Jess, this banana bread is for you! I know you say it's a food of departure, but here's hoping that this post will be a warm and comforting welcome home, as well . . .
And, dear readers, think of this as your little reminder that miracles happen every day - sometimes in the kitchen, and sometimes out there in our everyday lives.
Banana Bread with Cinnamon Crumble Topping
Adapted from Sweet Amandine via Bakesale Betty, as seen in Bon Appetit, September, 2008
1 ½ cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
2 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup honey (local is best!)
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 ½ tablespoons packed golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (my addition - totally optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees; grease well and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk the mashed bananas, eggs, oil, honey, and water until smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir just until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Mix together the 2 tablespoons of sugar, the brown sugar, the cinnamon, and the walnuts. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the batter.
Bake the bread for about 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.