Posts tagged ‘breakfast’
“So, what’s for breakfast?”
That’s usually one of the first things my dad says to me on Saturday mornings. I gulp down a bowl of cereal in seconds on weekdays, which makes weekend breakfasts even more enjoyable. Even though my parents can definitely make a better savory breakfast – eggs Benedict, omelettes, and perfectly crispy hashbrowns – I have the sweeter things covered. Pancakes, waffles, muffins, and scones. Mmm.
Besides my general love for carbs at any moment, I like baking in the mornings for a few reasons. I like the absolute lack of hurry that covers the whole house like a warm sweater. I like bringing my parents a piping hot baked good and eating it right in bed. And one of the simplest things I like is the filtered natural light that streams in through the windows. When I usually bake, it’s after school (though not necessarily after homework!) Even in March it gets dark pretty quickly. And I’m the kind of person who would prefer no lights and an open window to bright artificial lights. Another great thing about natural light is the photography it produces. As an amateur photographer the sunshine is my best friend!
What kind of 75 watt light bulb can do that?
Sitting beside your newly-driving 16 year old daughter as she backs out of a Costco parking space is not for the faint of heart. The kids running by, the impatiently waiting car with flashing lights, my mom in the passenger seat, instinctively pushing her foot on an imaginary brake – not the most relaxing day. The solution is to take frequent, stress-free breaks. Which is how we ended up at the farmer’s market.
Hours later, we stand in the kitchen, looking at the 25 or so nearly over-ripe bananas on the counter. It was just too good to pass up: $1 for all the nearly-rotting bananas you could carry. Naturally, we grabbed as many as we could hold without a second thought. But now we have two dozen old bananas that need to be used right away. There couldn’t be a better excuse to make healthy banana apple muffins.
There are only two seasons in Seattle. Rainy season and construction season. I think construction season is officially over. Just look at how damp and utterly unsummery the view from the kitchen window is. It’s not even September yet.
I don’t know what else to do besides bake when the weather throws you a wet, muddy curveball like this one and prevents you from going to the park. It calls for something warm and healthy, with a good handful of oats. Well, who am I kidding. A good handful of chocolate, too. Which is how I ended up making chocolate cranberry bran muffins.
Might I even say these were worth it?
My summer reading book this year is Gulliver’s Travels. It’s a classic, full of satire and adventure and fantasy. At least, according to Cliff Notes. I can’t seem to focus on poor Gulliver and his compelling travels when it’s a gorgeous summer day and we have ripe bananas. No, I think I’ll make banana bread instead.
Unlike most people, I don’t make banana bread when unsightly brown splotches bloom all over our bananas. Honestly, I like banana bread so much that I can never wait for them to become overripe. I end up stashing them in a paper bag and waiting about a day, hoping they’ll be aged enough by the next day. I’ve even been known to use perfectly firm, yellow bananas for my bread, just mashing them extra soft with a fork. I know it compromises flavor. I can’t help it.
So like most people, I’ve tried a fair share of banana bread recipes. I’ve teetered from the traditional path a few times – chocolate chips, cocoa powder, nuts and no nuts, dried fruit, coconut – but when it comes down to it, plain and simple banana bread is what I really like. My dad has made banana bread on occasion for as long as I can remember, his favorite being Martha’s recipe (with half cake flour). Me, I still haven’t found The One. But this one came pretty close. It comes from Elise at Simply Recipes. I followed her recipe to a T (except that I sprinkled quick cooking oats over the top) and before long the house smelled like warm bananas. Mmmm. Definitely more enthralling than Gulliver’s Travels.