i don’t bake often. i’m too nervous i’ll mess up the math and therefore the chemistry. i hate having to measure things out. i’m more of the little bit of this, little bit of that culinary crowd. but home baked goods taste infinitely better than anything at the store. i’m working to banish unnecessary processed goods from our pantry as well as plastic, but that’s a whole other uphill battle. indulge me for a moment. did you know there is an island comprised of plastic the size of TEXAS floating in the pacific ocean??
they call it the great pacific garbage patch. it was predicted by scientists in alaska in 1988, but wasn’t properly discovered until 1997, when a sailor happened upon it and alerted an oceanographer to its existence. even more shocking, two other similar plastic islands were discovered last year: the north atlantic garbage patch and the indian ocean garbage patch. there are so many reasons to be concerned about plastic beyond its indestructibility and environmental impact. there’s simply no way to know how it will affect our health down the road. for all of these reasons, i’ve begun a long-term plastic removal project, starting with things we and our pup eat out of. no more inexpensive ziplock plastic containers! no more plastic bowls or cups. working on our last box of giant ziplock bags. now this is a tough one. i’ve yet to find a viable replacement for those. the best i can do are these, originally purchased for our food swap. i’m working on slowly building our collection. it’s annoying that even those have plastic lids. oh well! little by little i suppose. i save all of our empty glass jars and use those in place of plastic containers as well.
i bought these little blue topped beauties today at ross for 3.50 a piece. they are so pretty in all of their cobalt glass glory and were made in italy so i’m less concerned about lead as with chinese made goods. i’m starting to worry that i worry too much.
the hardest part for me about eliminating plastic is the yogurt, cheese, hummus ect. they all come in plastic. now i suppose i could make all of these myself but that’s slightly unrealistic. how do you do it?
i wrote about this urban cheese craft kit for your daily thread awhile back. but i’ve never liked my hummus as much as trader joe’s. baby steps.
and apologies. i didn’t intend for this post to be so heavy. back to baking. and eggplant. this is our first japanese eggplant to show his beautiful face.
i’m not so great at baking, but joy makes it easier. i love her. she is hilarious and her recipes are easy to follow. she makes learning the chemistry of baking fun.
i even improvised a little. i added chocolate chips because i felt like it. no biggie. i wasn’t nervous.
i don’t think joy would mind. she loves chocolate too. especially with peanut butter. the most brilliant flavor combination ever discovered.
this bread happens to be low fat which i love the way it feels but hate the way it sounds. i swapped the white for whole wheat flour to make up for the chocolate. actually i did it because i didn’t have any white flour left but i can pretend. i also used olive oil in place of canola. and it was actually 2 and a half bananas instead of three because i had to use half of one to feed doc a benadryll since he gets all bumpy playing in the yard.
and i added a splash of vanilla because i love vanilla in everything. kind of how i feel about garlic. but not together. vanilla garlic. eew.
joy the baker’s recipe: oatmeal banana bread
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup uncooked old fashioned oats
1 cup chocolate chips
3 tsp canola or walnut oil
2 large eggs, beaten
3 large very ripe bananas, or 2 1/2.
splash of real vanilla extract. never use that fake rubbish.
1/2 cup rice milk
1. preheat oven to 350˚.
2. combine the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
3. mash the bananas and beat in remaining wet ingredients.
4. add wet to dry with a sturdy spatula, but don’t overmix, or you will develop the gluten and the bread will be chewy not crumbly. the batter should be thick.
5. line of loaf pan with parchment or butter and flour it if you prefer. i like less cleanup and parchment in compostable. check out this awesome list of compostable items.
6. pour batter into pan and bake for 45-55 minutes. check center for doneness.
7. turn out and cool on a rack. delicious warm or cold.
two totally unrelated notes:
first, above is my beautiful black cherry tomato plant. he is bursting with flowers and teeny tiny green tomatoes. we ate the first two ripe ones the other night with dinner. they were divine. growing food is so exciting. my mom has always had a garden and i’m so grateful that she taught me how this works. right now i’ve got japanese eggplant, sweet basil, black cherry tomatoes, japanese cucumbers, black beauty zucchinis and pineapple sage in my boxes. watching them grow taller everyday is so exciting. i’d like to plant lemon balm, lemon verbena, green onions, heirloom tomatoes, spinach, lacinato kale and kabocha squash next.
second, i picked these babies up today from a lovely lady on craigslist. they were FREE. thank you universe. doc was curious of course. one had a past life as an office mail shelf which i will be converting into a vertical succulent garden. the other will become a veggie box. hopefully to contain the above mentioned hopeful additions. okay! time to kiss doc. happy august.