New Year New Baking

The beginning of the year nearly always has me eager to open cookbooks to find new recipes, dig up forgotten favorites, and reconnect with the kitchen rhythms interrupted by a lack of motivation or too many meals and treats out of the ordinary during the holidays. I’m not sure if it is the cold weather and my love of coziness or some sort of nesting instinct but right now I want to bake everything. I am certain that my body does not need more baked goods. Luckily I’ve also been wanting to eat lots of big salads and thanks to refrigerated shipping I don’t have to give my child to an evil witch in exchange for a head a of lettuce, like Rapunzel’s mother did. If I try really hard maybe salads and baking can balance each other out.

I could probably bake a different banana bread every day and there would still be more recipes to try but, in our house, banana bread is actually a rare thing. Bananas almost never survive to the point of over ripeness that is most desirable for baking. But earlier this week, I was randomly given a bunch and after accidentally leaving them to freeze outside, the bananas were perfect candidates for baking into bread. Despite the excess of possible banana bread recipes, I don’t have a go to recipe but I found one for a sturdy good sized loaf in Jessica Fechtor’s memoir Stir.

I really enjoyed her story of overcoming big challenges and slowly healing with the help of family, community, and food. I made the banana bread one evening when I knew I would be alone in the kitchen and could savor the short time it took to mash, sift, stir and pour. I think that is what I have been craving more than anything, time to alone to make things. Sometimes self care is salad and yoga, sometimes it’s banana bread and podcasts.

You can find the recipe on her site minus the addition of chocolate chips. I will never be upset to find chocolate chips in my banana bread, but I think next time I will try it with walnuts since I love a little crunch in a quick bread. If I can ever scrounge up some really ripe bananas again this will definitely be the recipe I go to.