Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Menu Of A Sick Person

Here's what I ate yesterday. I know. It's not food. That's because I caught a stomach bug and spent the day barely able to keep these delights down. My stomach had been bothering me for several days, so I hadn't been cooking anything really exciting, and I didn't feel like boring you with a picture of white rice with salt and pepper. I imagine everyone already knows what it looks like and probably has a reliable recipe to follow for themselves, right? So instead, I thought I'd bore you with another picture of banana bread, because after a long bout of running to the bathroom and three blackening bananas on my kitchen counter, what else could I possibly be inspired to make?

I'm usually pretty tough when I'm sick, in part because I've had a lot of experience. As a kid, I was plagued with migraines, the kind that made me sensitive to sound, touch, smells. Even thoughts had a powerful effect on me. I would be at a migraine's mercy for almost an entire day. I can only really liken it to being on an uncovered boat during a raging storm. No matter where I was when I was struck with a migraine, I'd rush home to get to my mother, because she was the only one who could soothe me and make me feel safe. She'd change my bedsheets, so I could burrow myself into the cool folds of cotton after heaving my insides out. She'd get me Popsicles and stroke my hot skin with her soft fingertips. And slowly, slowly, the storm would subside and sleep would overtake me and I'd take deep breaths between the pain and remember what 'normal' felt like. These migraines lasted for years.

Incidentally, my father, similarly afflicted with these black headaches, always credited his remission to falling in love with my mother. He never got another one after marrying her. And strangely, the same thing has happened to me since Almost Husband graced my life again.

Anytime I get sick, the following couple of days are usually full of recovery food. I call it the 'beige' diet; rice, toast with butter, applesauce, potatoes - you get the idea. Hardly sexy. But I have to say that this banana bread turned out brilliantly, especially since I couldn't be bothered to follow a recipe, though I'm sure you could find a zillion recipes exactly like this one, so I'm not sure the credit should all go to me. But it's cakey and dense and moist *cringe - I despise this word* and full of banana flavour and the kitchen smelled so goddamn good which was a lovely way to end the day after it was so full of sickness.

So here's my recipe. I know; what the world needs is another banana bread recipe. But that's what you're going to get. Unless you want me to post about white rice.

Moni's Banana Bread:

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
3 super-ripe bananas, mashed

1. Preheat oven to 350
°F. In large bowl combine all the dry ingredients and mix well.

2. In separate bowl, combine the sugar, oil, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Use a whisk to get them well combined. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir as little as possible, till just combined. Add mashed bananas and lightly incorporate into the mixture.

3. Pour mixture into a greased and floured loaf pan and bake for about 55-60 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Allow to cool entirely before - why am I saying this? I can never wait for things to cool completely; just watch that you don't burn your tongue!

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