Let’s pretend. So much of how I entertained myself as a little girl had to do with pretending. I was never fast enough or strong enough or athletic enough or, um, lean enough to join in all the (reindeer games) physical activity (undoubtedly super fun I know I know) that went on with other kids my age. Instead I was mostly with my dolls or playing dress up or reading books or generally having a ball with that pre-PlayStation thing called “my imagination”.
My imagination was my savior on many rainy afternoons. It saw me through my bouts “in the corner” when I was naughty. It made mine and my brother’s Barbie and Transformers games possible. It made long car rides bearable. It made me believe I could be Scarlett O’Hara. No small feat that. All that for the bargain price of absolutely free!
To this day it’s still with me. I nurture and pamper it. Feeding it richly and indulging its many whims. Wild dreams and imaginings still see me through many of life’s events. Not the least being long queues at the bank and waiting in airports – oh how it helps in those situations! But also during times of anxiety and stress that often come with this territory called (phooey) adulthood. Some may think it childish escapism, these games of “let’s pretend”. I like to think of it as “creative solutions”.
Like now for example. Like let’s pretend I’ve never posted a banana bread recipe on this blog before.
Rich Chocolate Banana Bread
(from What’s for lunch, Honey?)
- 100g bittersweet chocolate
- 150g butter, softened
- 170g muscovado sugar
- 3 eggs
- 175g all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 25g cocoa powder
- 2 large bananas, ripe and mashed
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, taking care not to let the water touch the bowl. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale. Gradually add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and cocoa powder and fold into the wet ingredients (I like to use a flattish metal spoon for this).
- Add mashed bananas and melted chocolate and fold in well.
- Place in a greased and lined loaf pan and bake in a pre-heated 180C oven for 50-60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a rack, then wrap in baking paper or foil.
Meeta’s original recipe used 3 smaller loaf pans rather that one standard, and one loaf was topped with pink almond praline and the other with pistachios. I just left made one plain loaf, and let me tell you, it did not seem lacking at all! The cake is not too sweet, instead brimming with a dusky chocolate flavor which I feel works really well with the earthiness of muscovado (which in itself possesses dark notes). All this is held snugly together by the bananas' moist sweetness. In not so many words, yum :)
My wish for little C is that she discovers the wonders of the imagination before the world of Xbox and TV creeps in. There is no limit to what a little imagination can do…even if it’s just to pretend I haven’t posted the same cake in various guises! ;)
6/2/2010 update: It's Meeta's birthday! :)