There was a tiny knock at the back door.
Not now, I thought, not now, I'm just about to start working. Ugh. Who is it?
Do you ever find when you're just about settled and ready to start working on something, an unwelcome interruption follows suit? Yes? STORY OF MY LIFE.
The door opened as I heard a voice say, "Hi sweetheart I just wanted to pop by and see if you could help me with something."
It was grandma.
Disclaimer: My grandmother always seems to have impeccable timing. I swear just as we're about to pop out somewhere or start something, she shows up.
It's a gift.
Another disclaimer: My grandmother is a great talker.
(DO I SOUND LIKE A TERRIBLE PERSON?)
I tried to burry my grumbles as John and I sat down at the table with my grandmother. She'd brought over her brand new macbook. John had helped her pick it out a few weeks ago.
At the time, Apple was doing this "back to school promotion" where you'd get a fancy pair of beats headphones along with the purchase of your new macbook.
So, my seventy-something grandma now has these incredibly hip, $200+ bright blue headphones to accompany her new laptop.
It's a picture worth seeing.
She started telling us about her tech troubles and what hassle it's been to gather up all of her credits to go back to school and she needed some help.
"I mean I went to school when they didn't even have computers!" she laughed, "They have to go through piles of files to find my records, it's taking weeks."
She got accepted to Brigham Young University at age 17 (she skipped ahead two grades, she was that smart), but by age 19 she was married and on her way to Southern California, to support my grandpa's way through USC grad school.
Six kids (!!!) and a few attempts at some local community colleges and this mess of credits later, she never did get around to truly pursuing her degree, until now.
"In English" she said, "I think I'm going to get my degree in English. I love to read and I think I have so many credits towards that major anyway that it just makes sense."
While again, it's been nothing short of a headache to gather the pieces of proof needed to move forward, she's doing it.
"Better late than never!" she joked, "In fact, it's never too late!"
Yes and amen.
How often do we get discouraged thinking that it's just too late for us?
(Raises hand) I do. Like, I think this ALL the time.
But it's never too late. It's never to late to educate yourself, to change, to do something great and fulfilling that you've always wanted to do.
While my grandma didn't know this at the time, and still doesn't know this, I was having the most discouraging day. Sometimes I get into funks like that, where I think what I hope to do, and what I feel meant to do, is just too far out of reach, "too late" if you will. It was a day where I hated everybody and I especially hated looking at instagram because everyone seemed to be living life so perfectly - ps can there be an instagram day where we just talk about our flaws and what's going wrong? I'd like that. Lol 😂 we can hashtag it: #moralsupportday Tell me you can relate?
So while, at first, I was annoyed with the interruption, it looks like the reminder that it's never too late, was right on time.
Did you hear that? It's never too late.
I'm sorry I grumbled and thank you, Grandma.
seeded banana bread with lemon sesame glaze
Banana bread. Bananas when we are just on the cusp of Autumn. I know. It's not pumpkin - but with the buzz of back to school, the heat and change in the air, I wanted to cling to something super familiar, yet different, like a banana bread full of seeds. Seeded Banana bread is also kinda like the juxtaposition of a grandmother going back to school: something new and old together.
I'm gonna be real with you. This bread is strangely wonderful and addicting. When fresh, it tastes more lemony than banana-y...and at first the flavors are confusing, but on the second day, that second day, the flavors merry and it's like a lemon, brown sugar-y, banana-y, nutty treat. I stinking love it. It's dense and keeps well in the fridge and is easy to slice and toast - I especially love it lathered in almond butter and topped with sliced bananas. The seeds add a wonderful texture and don't bother at all - but check your teeth before you go out. ;) xo
note: I tweaked the recipe just barely and all the tweaks worked beautifully. This recipe is a version of my tweaks. However, you can easily use Anna's suggested ¾ spelt flour mixed with ¾ all purpose flour if you do not want to go the gluten free flour route.
1 ½ cup / 250g all purpose gluten free flour (see my recommendations below)
½ cup / 125g packed muscavado sugar or organic dark brown sugar
1 cup / 150g little seeds (I used ⅓ cup whole flax seeds, ⅓ black sesame seeds, and a mix of poppy seeds and chia seeds for the last ⅓ cup)
½ tsp kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 medium ripe bananas, peeled (do I need to say peeled?;)
grated zest and juice of one lemon (preferably organic)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons greek yogurt, or unsweetened almond or coconut yogurt (I used greek)
2 organic eggs
for the glaze:
1 tablespoon tahini
3 tablespoons raw honey
juice of one lemon
Preheat your oven to 400° F / 200° C. Butter and flour a 8 x 4 inch / 450g loaf pan.
Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl: flour, seeds, sugar, salt and baking powder.
In another bowl we'll mix our wet ingredients: mash bananas with a fork and then add lemon juice, zest, olive oil, yogurt and eggs. Mix well.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, taking care not to over mix. Mix until just combined. Don't worry if there are a few brown sugary bumps.
Spoon batter into your loaf pan and bake for 40 - 45 mins or until skewer comes out clean.
While loaf is baking, make the tahini lemon glaze.
To make glaze, beat tahini with honey until smooth with a fork or small whisk, mix in fresh lemon juice. Set aside.
When loaf is finished baking let it cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan onto a cooling wrack. Skewer the cake all over with a toothpick and pour glaze allowing it to soak into the warm cake. Make sure your loaf is on a space where you're free to make a mess, before pouring the glaze.
Keeps wrapped up in the fridge for two weeks. No joke. Slice and toast as you go about your week. ;)
Ps. I talk about my favorite gluten free flour here but if you have to buy some and don't have the time to create your own, so far I like Bob's all purpose gluten free flour mix best labeled "cup for cup". xo