Tag Archives: banana cake

Keeping track of myself

As a slow-moving, slow-thinking, stay-at-homer, living without the aid of  a Fitbit to keep track of myself, I am inclined to fall into the habit of believing that my day’s achievements equal little more than  washing out and washing in; and that’s on a relatively well-organized day. 😀 However, if I stop for a moment and put on my old-fashioned  considering cap , I slowly  begin to understand that I have been achieving. Indeed, almost over-achieving 😉 .

For example, in this past first week of the New Year, I have, amongst other things, baked two  delicious cakes, a loaf of yogurt bread, and two hearty desserts.  I have been on some favourite  summertime walks. I have caught up with most of my blog reading and commenting. And I have decluttered the inner workings of my faithful old Toshiba laptop so that it performs faster and more efficiently than it has done in years. Hooray! Oh, and, let’s not forget, I  have given my husband a handsome haircut. ( It’s taken me more than thirty years to get up the courage to take on the haircutting! )

But of more importance, and beyond any of these achievements, has been my week of keeping tabs on my BEING; specifically on my Grateful Being.  Many people write a gratitude journal but this is the first time I have done so. It was much harder work than I expected, but I am pleased I persevered with it.

So, if you have a moment to spare, draw up a chair, put on your considering caps, and make what you will of my 7 days of random gratitudes.

Here I go….. grateful for

and grateful, too, for my new  Nextbook, for my ability to sleep soundly  through the Wilberforce earthquake, and grateful for the fact that our  Christmases don’t all come at once.

My final gratitude is reserved for the wonderful weeds that grow like flowers in my garden.

Self-sown beauties.

Self-sown beauties.

© silkannthreades


South Sea Island Pearl of a Recipe

Yesterday afternoon I made a banana cake because: a)  I had too many ripe bananas in the fruit bowl; b)  banana cake reminds me of my younger years in my long ago home; c) it’s easy to make; d) most importantly of all, I love banana cake.

We didn’t eat much cake as youngsters but, if we had a staple cake in our home, banana cake was it. The same could probably be said for many other homes in Fiji in those colonial and early post colonial years.The reason for its popularity was the plentiful supply of the main ingredient; namely ripe to over ripe bananas. The recipe we used then, and which I use now, is based upon one in the South Sea Island Recipes cookery book, first produced in 1934 by the Girl Guides’ Association of Fiji.   I say based upon because making our South Sea Island banana cake is not an exact science. It simply happens, as you put in some of this and some of that and mix it all up till you know that it is exactly how you want it to be. And even then, it will turn out in its own different and delicious way  each time.

My mother was always slightly vexated that every time she made a banana cake, no matter how it looked when it came out of the oven, it would eventually sink in the middle. I thought the sinking made the cake extra good since the centre of the cake then became dense and moist and fulsome with the banana-eriness that only genuine Pacific bananas can impart to a cake. (Apologies to supermarket bananas; I do appreciate you, and would be lost without you, but your flavour is so meagre compared to your Pacific cousins that it is hard to believe you belong to the same family.)

So here is some of the cake I made, with supermarket bananas 😦  Note the texture, if you can see it clearly enough. It is quite different from that of the richer banana cakes I make from my American recipe books.Banana Cake

And here is the recipe, in a completely disreputable state, which should appal the former neat and diligent Girl Guide in me but doesn’t at all.  Instead, I consider the spots and blotches, badges of honour, love and affection. Banana cake recipe The recipe amuses me in its brevity and its assumptions. The instruction is simple, “Mix in the usual way..” with the implication that, if you don’t know what that is, you shouldn’t be looking at a cookery book! No baking times or temperature settings are given; those should be obvious to the cookbook reader too, apparently.

Other wonderful gems in the cookbook include Turtle Soup and how to polish shoes with a red hibiscus.

Lastly, here is the cover of the book looking like the flotsam or jetsam of a castaway’s life, rather than the precious pearl of the Pacific it is to me.

South Sea Island Recipes