You guys all know about Joy the Baker, of course. I’m sure you do. In my mind, Joy is that cool person you know, who everyone else knows too, and any time she’s mentioned you feel a little glimmer of pride that you can say ‘yep, I know them’.
If you’re a reader of her blog (which I assume you are) you’ll know that she keeps it real. This blog post is a homage to Joy the Baker, and an attempt to remind myself to keep it real.
Sometimes, you might see a recipe and think ‘ooh! I want to make that right now!’. Other times, you might think ‘hm, I feel like baking, I wonder what I could make?’. Still other times, you might think ‘those bananas on the counter aren’t getting any younger… it’s banana loaf time.’ I had a combination of all these thoughts, or at least parts of them, recently. I saw a recipe I liked the look of, there were brown bananas on the counter, I hadn’t baked for a while and it was a Sunday afternoon… it all came together. So, I decided to go for it.
The recipe was one by Joy the Baker (naturally), featured on Leite’s Culinaria (also naturally). You can find it here – it’s Mommom’s Chocolate Bourbon-Spiked Banana Bread.
In real life, you work with the utensils you have – which are a metal bowl and a giant wooden ladle – and you might find a lovely moment of memory, and peace, in creaming the butter and sugar by hand.
And real butter might not be what’s in the fridge.
Come on, it says ‘PERFECT for cakes’. Stork wouldn’t lie.
It’s also possible you might get some eggshell in the bowl by accident.
In real life, your mixture might look curdled part way through.
You might just use your hands to squish up the bananas instead of mashing with a fork or chopping with, say, a knife.
And your hand might slip while you’re measuring in the bourbon.
In real life, you might find that you don’t have exactly the right ingredients, and you have to substitute chocolate stars for chocolate chips in the hope that they will kind of melt in and add to the deliciousness of the finished product.
In real life, maybe you won’t clear away your work surface before you start, or as you go along.
Despite all of that, you can still enjoy the process – and when this:
…turns into this:
…and the smell of baking fills up the kitchen, it’s hard not to break into a smile.
Also, your baking tray might be a bit busted up and usually you don’t put it in photographs, but when you’re having an ‘in real life’ day, you do.
Real life loaves quite often have this little overlapping bit that you also don’t put in photographs:
…and the best thing to do with it is just to eat it.
Finally, when it comes to serving, a slice might not look exactly like a slice. It might look more of a pile, and the light might be all wrong and make your photo yellow:
You know what?
It’s no biggie.
You baked a banana loaf. Be proud.