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Banana bread with Piper, Happiness Soup, and Iron & Wine in the afternoon.

Our afternoon was bathed in sunlight and peace.  I had just transferred some laundry when I felt it; the dining room was all glowing and the wood floor was warm on my bare feet.  I put on some Iron & Wine, who I hadn’t heard in a while, and felt blown away by Sam Beam’s voice and the energy of his music.  I turned up the volume and tied mine and Piper’s aprons on to bake banana bread together.  I peeled three or four small bananas and dropped them into a ceramic mixing bowl for Piper to mash.  She eagerly helped, and stood on her toes on a stool to reach everything.  I went into the kitchen to grab some flour, and when I returned I noticed the cute girl sneaking bites of fruit.  She laughed gloriously and her eyes gleamed mischief as she went in for one more bite, and then another.  We mashed the banana until it was creamy, and mixed it with vanilla and coconut oil melted with organic sugar.  Once we mixed a proper batter (our dry ingredients consisted of Spelt flour, a pinch of salt, and some baking powder) Piper licked the spatula clean.  We sprinkled nubbly walnut pieces all over the top and then I put the bread and its comely brown loaf pan in the oven for 50 or so minutes to bake.

Banana Bread
Recipe courtesy of The Simple Veganista blog.

While the bread baked, Piper and I washed yellow squash in the sink and we began preparing dinner together.  Nigella Lawson has a series (and a cookbook, I believe) titled Forever Summer and one of its premises is cooking along a color scheme.  She has a simple squash and rice soup that she calls “Happiness Soup” because it’s a beautiful yellow-gold color that cheers you just making it.

Happiness Soup

Small cubes of squash (skin on) are sauteed in olive oil until they soften, and are then tossed in about a teaspoon of turmeric.  Nigella then calls for about four cups of chicken stock, but we used a vegan “no-chicken chicken broth” that had the same yellow sheen to it as the real deal.  Then you add 1/2 cup of Basmati rice and the whole thing cooks in 10-15 minutes.  We brought the soup and bread over to a friend’s house to share, and by the time we arrived it had thickened considerably, so I’ll probably be adding more broth the next time I make this recipe.

I’ll leave you with some music–goodnight!

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