hot, hot summer
recipe for banana bread is at the bottom
The weeks are passing by swiftly, far too swiftly for the mind to register, but in time for the camera to capture the best moments.
I type amidst a haze of stifling heat, one that clogs up the mind and your insides. This week is much more different than the last, where storm clouds ruled alongside turbulent weather. But this week, the sky is devoid of the poofy, puffy white masses, bearing only wisps of lost cotton puffs and the lone birds.
We fall down, like in the nursery rhyme where we sniff posies and go round in rings. Man down, we say, for the numbers in class dwindle, the seats left empty. The occasional sniff or cough breaks the unusual silence, and now, the chugging fans in class dominate the atmosphere.
I suppose summer is in one of her moods again, where she bears down on us with her overbearing glare, melting us down, urging us to just surrender, to just let go.
We all have been urged to let go at some point or another, to release ourselves from some sort of safe point. We're pushed to our limits, to the breaking point, and the persistent whispers of let go begin to enter the mind.
But no, we say, no. We do not give up, for we are more resilient than the whispers, more determined to succeed than to let the whispers do so. We fight, with bravery and with courage, and most of all, resolute.
Now, I come with something to fight this summer, she who is most furious. It defends us, it sates our appetite, and it brings some form of pleasure with it.
It is jam. Chia jam.
I adore the texture of this jam. It's soft and speckled with bits of chia seeds, all the while with a rich and summer-y flavour to leave us with a better impression of her. This jam is packed with fibre, omega 3, protein, and delicious-ness. The making is short, but not as short as the amount of time you finish it (okay, I do exaggerate). Enjoy as a topping, as a spread for your pb + j, or on anything else you fancy.
And now, for a worthy accompaniment to jam - bread.
I'm sure I've mentioned it before, as I have with many other things, but banana bread is one of those things that childhood never, ever lets you forget.
I see her, with her platinum blond cropped hair standing up starkly against the greenery which encompasses us. She beckons us with a smile, one that is as wide as the brim of her hat. Come, she urges us, come try some fresh banana bread with tea. And never did I forget that banana bread - the softness, the airiness, the natural sweetness.
After so long, I haven't forgot - and here, I've succeeded in replicating that flavour into my bread. It's moist, it's soft, and best of all, wholesome. The bits of mashed banana appear occasionally here, along with some walnuts added for texture. Stir in some other seeds or what-have-you into the bread, or top with more nuts, seeds etc. I did so with a seed mix and coconut.
This banana bread is anything but unsatisfactory. Warm it up prior to consuming, if you wish, and as always, enjoy.
1. Preheat oven to 170 c. In a bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and cinnamon.
2. Combine mashed bananas with milk and vanilla extract. Pour into flour mixture and stir well.
3. Add walnuts and any other ingredients, then pour into a greased loaf tin (mine was 9 x 22). If adding toppings, sprinkle them on now.
4. Bake for an hour. Ensure that it is cooked through by inserting a toothpick, which should come out clean.
5. Let it cool for 15 mins, serve and enjoy.
-to be continued-