cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bye Bye Betty

School is out for the summer for my younger sisters and brother; one last bake day while they're away. It sounds oh so June Cleaver to have baked goods cooling on the stove top just waiting for the kids and breadwinner(s) to return home from a strenuous day of tedious classes and board meetings--but so what, I happen to like that. Bakers are different from house wives: for one bakers bake for baking's sake, having an audience to eat the goods just happens to be a perk. The cook of the house has all of the control: annoy the chef, leave the kitchen messy, or whine about what's made, and well, say goodbye to any chance of a homemade delicacy much less extra baked goods. The role of kitchen master is not a sexist notion on principle: it is available for male or female--however it is difficult to share, whoever claims it first wears the crown.

The Betty crocker stereotype is quite perturbing; from my own personal experience I have found that even just the term baking is associated with ignorance, "oh aren't you just quite the domestic doll, do you clean too?" I resent being called doll, it is almost as intolerable as the endearment babe; just hearing either makes me want to grind my teeth. I am not a housewife, nor a mother, and I love to bake and cook as do millions of others who sadly aren't professionals but pretend to be. When people eat what you create they are doing just that: eating what YOU made. It is the same egotistical pride that a musician experiences upon hearing someone hum their latest, or a couture designer at seeing a celebrity strut down the red walk in a make of their own mark; it's the universal attachment to creation. Mine happens to be jam and anything that requires a leavening agent, but to each his own. My advice to those of the mind who view such a way of spending one's personal free time as a weakness or social aversion would be to sod off. Plain and simple. And those weren't strawberries in the muffins, they were beets. Touché.

While I'm home I have the perfect test subjects: hungry kids. Brownies and a new banana bread recipe sitting on the counter is not giving too much, for it is appreciated. And I get to write about it. Ahh my true intentions; I don't care if they have anything to eat, I do it for my own amusement. You see how I jest. Everyone makes banana bread, so make it different. Yes everone uses squishy overripe bananas, try something a little more creative. My mum hates nuts in baked goods. So no nuts in this recipe. There is only whole wheat flour in the fridge, deal with it. No nuts--use coconut. Kids will eat this: add chocolate (white to keep color). Dad and sister will eat this: add rum and rum extract. I won't eat this: there's gluten. Oh well.

I'm not claiming this to be an innovative pastry to the likes of anything that hasn't been done, but I think I will sell it at my bakery. Banana, coconut, and rum. Yeah it belongs at the salty cod. With a cup of tea. But for now, it's for my family and friends to sample when they wish. Wait for evening desert of the last day of school celebration extravaganza: homemade ice cream cake and pink marshmallows at a campfire. What? There's rum too.

A bientôt.


quirlig said...

Hi, I already like your ejournal - nice pictures! As I am austrian I do not have a basic bananacakerecipe. So what about posting on so I can ge creative about it?

Mallory Elise said...

oh my god! You're my first reader! Yay! willkommen, sorry for not posting a recipe, i'll make sure to add all recipes on the bottom just in case from now on.

Here's the recipe I used for this banana bread:
1.5 cups flour (i used whole wheat)
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
.25 teaspoon baking soda
.5 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
4 medium bananas (brown, and mashed in a cup with a fork)
.25 cup cooking oil (i used canola)
.5 cup white chocolate chunks
.5 cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon rum extract

mix the dry ingredients together, beat the wet ones together, then combine and add in the chocolate, coconut, nuts, or whatever else you want to substitute. It will bake for about an hour at 350F, but check on it regularly with a sticky toothpick test.