I didn’t necessarily know that I was starting a food blog when I registered my domain name but this is my fourth entry and the third one to include a recipe. I’m not even much of a cook so the idea of starting a food blog has me asking my self, “really?” My husband is an accomplished chef but he’s not writing this blog. I can follow a recipe but I can not open the pantry and whip up something inspired and delicious. I’m not good with meat at all, its almost always overdone so I cook mostly vegetarian. This is my favorite cookbook and this is my favorite blog. I use them both almost exclusively for meal planning using other people’s recipes yet here I am at the beginning of a food blog. But what I’m figuring out as I go is that it is doing that something extra, that something deeper and that something unexpected that layers the flavor.
I was thinking about all of this when I discovered the recipe I will share with you today. I was thinking about all the ingredients it takes to write a balanced life recipe. Especially when you are in a new city trying to make new friends and you didn’t get the job you’ve spent three months gunning for. And no one has responded to the two dozen additional resumes you submitted all around. I was thinking about the extra effort and the commitment to the cause it takes to create the life you want through trying new things and experimenting with what works and what will work better. And I was also thinking about the bananas gone black on my kitchen counter which could only mean one thing.
With all these thoughts centered around what it means to layer the flavor in mind I knew that I wanted something extra, something special, to show up in the banana bread that was calling to me. I thought about adding chunks of chocolate. Then I thought about stirring peanut butter into the batter but the recipes I found online weren’t shouting out to me, “layer the flavor!” (Why didn’t I think of adding both chocolate and peanut butter? Inspired! I’ll be a real cook before I know it, after all!) With nothing jumping out at me I turned to a favorite tool in my kitchen arsenal. When I’m looking for a really special recipe I always know that I can count on Heidi Swanson and her beautiful website 101 Cookbooks and let me tell you something; she came through.
This recipe brings it all together. This recipe is layer the flavor. Of course there are ripe bananas for the bread but they aren’t just bananas they are oven caramelized bananas. There are raisins but they aren’t just raisins they are rum soaked golden raisins. There is milk but it is coconut milk and the walnuts have been replaced with toasted pumpkin seeds. See, say it with me now, layer the flavor.
Last night I had this delicious bread warm out the oven for a movie night snack with a small glass of Antica Carpano on ice. Next time I will whip the Antica into a cream to dollop on top of the warm banana bread and that will be the cat’s pajamas. This morning we had a couple of slices buttered and with pear preserves, hard cooked egg whites on the side and orange juice.
After breakfast I kept an appointment I had made with our priest down at the church. I asked him about how I can start a social group for thirty-to-forty-something-year-olds so I can make new friends here in my new city. Plus, with me not working and Oprah over and done with I really need something to do. I told him that I wanted to call the group Theology Uncorked because I’m very clever and also because we’re food and wine people. He said that was a fine idea but that the group needed something more. He told me we needed a purpose beyond socializing and wine drinking and that I should define that and get back to him. In essence he told me to layer the flavor. I don’t know what Theology Uncorked will look like but I expect a few rum soaked raisins and toasted nuts to turn out for it. They always do. And I will be blogging about it.
Roast Banana-Pumpkin Bread
Click the above link for the recipe