The Big Quarantine – Friday, April 17, 2020
Unexpectedly, this is an all food edition…
The Day in Coffee Cake: I’m a better cook than baker, but I’m not embarrassed about my baking skills. I can make several very basic kinds of bread, cookies, loafs, and cakes. In normal times, I bake when I crave something. I make what I want, eat a little, and bring the rest in to work. My coworkers love when I crave brownies and cranberry scones.
One of the things I’m missing about Covid is life is the fear of sharing and receiving. I think it’s safe for me to cook food for people, but I don’t know if others would be comfortable with the situation. We all have to be there together.
My Mom will take any food I cook without reservation, which is awesome. But even with two of us working on a baked good, it takes about a week to finish one off. Today I finished last week’s citrus pound cake. How long during Covid stress-eating could I go without a freshly baked dessert on the counter?
10 minutes. That’s how long.
To fill today’s dessert gap, I made the most comforting of cakes, coffee cake. I have a regular recipe for coffee cake that me and my friends lovingly refer to as “Dry Coffee Cake.” That cake is a crumbly, spicy flavored and ginger-bread colored cake. It’s a good coffee cake, but honey is one of the ingredients and I didn’t have enough to make the recipe.
Working with what I had, I went to the other end of the coffee cake spectrum and made a sour cream coffee cake with cinnamon topping. Sour cream cakes are notoriously moist. (Sorry haters of the word moist, that’s the appropriate word here.) I also got to apply my baking experience to this recipe which calls for the batter to be poured in a 9 x 13 pan. That pan size seemed too big for the amount of batter. I used a 9 x 9 pan and should have used a little less of the crumble topping than was called for. Instead, I did use the called for amount, but poured some topping off at the end. The finished product is moist, delicious, and comforting. If I can restrain myself, I have a week’s worth of cake.
The Day In This Day is Bananas: The last batch of bananas I bought really felt it was their duty to get ripe faster than I could eat them. I stared at them yesterday and said, right out loud, “I cannot abide by another loaf of banana bread.” I threw them in freezer to contemplate their fate.
What to do?
I found a recipe called faux banana soft serve. One look and I could see “soft serve” was a linguistic flourish. This recipe was for a thick banana smoothie. I could use it as a springboard, though. First, I cut the recipe down 75% to make a single serving. It worked fine. I also added cocoa powder and skipped the topping.
Here’s what I did: I used 1 frozen banana cut into 1 inch pieces, 1/4 cup of milk, a pinch of vanilla, and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. I got out the blender and whizzed…that is the blender whizzed, I went earlier (#Inner12YearOldBoyHumor)
I used almond milk cause I had some and I love patting myself on the back when I eat vegan. Any milk will work, of course. Before digging in, I put the mixture in my ice cream dish and put it back in the freezer for about 10 minutes. It was really good. It was so good I got an ice cream headache half way through. That was not really good. I put the dish back in the freezer for another 10 minutes. It was even better on the second try. Of course, if you freeze it too long it will have an icy texture.
I’m calling the snack Nana-Whiz. It was a nice afternoon treat. With no added sugar, Nana-Whiz was healthy…until I decided it would be better with some cookies. And it would have been even healthier if I hadn’t just eaten a piece of freshly baked coffee cake.
This has been quite the food day and I’ve not eaten a meal.
The Day in One More Thing About Today and Food: When I got up this morning the first think I did was to lay out the non-fridge ingredients and tools so I could make waffles. I really wanted waffles all day yesterday and they were on my mind when I got out of bed today. They are on my mind now. I want waffles, but I need to stop playing in the kitchen. I need to stop making carbs. I need to think about something (anything) else besides food…until dinner, that is.
Let’s see if the waffle idea lasts until tomorrow. Or maybe since the blender is already out, I’ll get give Covid Confinement’s trending kitchen project Dalgona whipped coffee a whirl. #Pandemic15