The lower mainland is home, and I’m not sure why I continually have to remind myself of this fact. I returned from Prince George almost three years to the day that I returned from Vietnam. There were a lot of differences between the two. Three years ago, I was: heartbroken, concussed, stitched…etc. This homecoming included about 100% fewer ailments, but the same mental state: happiness and ease and knowing this is where I’m meant to be. If this cycle continues, who knows where I’ll be in another three years, but for now, I’m pretty happy just to be a Vancouverite again with our hipster/hippie ways, food snobbery, and rainy gloom.
Being back at home, also has some very immediate perks that I woke up to Wednesday morning. These include:
Cupboard full ‘o tea, backyard and front yard (a little bit of Commercial Drive in Dunbar) gardens full of veggies and flowers, and…kitchen toys.
One of the things that irked me about living and working in a place I knew wasn’t permanent, was the feeling of being unsettled. I wanted to buy things so I could could and bake and experiment in the kitchen, but was always dissuaded by the prospect of having to move it all or sell it whenever the time came to move on.
At home though, I was welcomed into a very well stocked kitchen. Including three brown bananas. Whoever thought almost-rotten fruit would someday bring me so much joy!
In addition to Detoxinista, another blogger has been added to my list of food crushes recently.
Gluten-Free Goddess writes recipes for dorks like me who are pretty limited. When it comes to baked goods especially, they are some of the best recipes I’ve found.
Gluten-free baking is often very dry. But by expanding the types of flours I’ve been using (my latest favorites are Sorghum, Coconut and Amaranth), and adding in some other key ingredients, I’ve seen the light! The results have been wonderful, moist and flavourful gluten-free loaves, muffins and cakes.
With my three hideous bananas in tow, I set about making my latest creation.
I adapted this recipe for Banana Mini-Muffins by using 2 eggs instead of the egg replacer, as well as adding about half a cup of toasted coconut into the batter. I also sprinkled a bit of toasted coconut on top before I put them in the oven to get them looking extra yummy.
In the absence of a twee little mini-muffin pan, I used a regular one, which about doubled my baking time.
Torture. So delicious and moist, and completely gluten-free and dairy-free.
As me and baked goods have a bit of a tumultuous relationship, I licked the spatula (the batter was quite tasty), sampled a muffin straight out of the oven (because warm baked goods are a whole other experience) and then of course ate one when it was cool (because you have to know what the final result is before you give them away).
And give them away I have. Really it’s the best defence against eating them all myself. And that’s another joy of being back…people!
It’s been three days so far of visits, sunshine, bike rides, and kitchen time. Eventually I’ll get a job. For now, I’m happy to put my feet up in the backyard and eat a muffin.