Friday, 30 October 2009


This week, I went to the Alan Bruford memorial lecture entitled Landscape, Memory and the Diasporic Imagination, which was so interesting considering my Welsh heritage. I also had a seminar on oral- and folk-narrative, the second being what I prefer to christen what I write here; it means, in basic terms, the expression of opinions and the sharing of experience.

I listened endlessly to the mesmerising St Vincent, whose "The Party" I first heard on a flight to New York via Paris...just how all great love stories should start.

I also made banana bread by adapting this recipe; I'm trying to buy more seasonal produce, but when I saw two very sad looking battered and bruised bananas in my student union shop for 10p each, there was only one thing to do. It turned out quite nicely, so please try it out if you are inclined to enjoy sticky sweet banana treats on misty autumn evenings.

Banana Bread
140g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
sprinkle salt
55g butter (and a bit for greasing)
55g dark brown sugar
55g caster sugar
1 free-range egg
2 over-ripe mashed bananas
40ml milk mixed with a dash of lemon juice
(you could try the recipe with 1 tsp vanilla extract or a squeeze of honey...I'm also going to experiment with golden syrup or treacle as a substitute for a portion of the sugar)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and grease a medium sized baking tin or heatproof dish with butter.
2. Cream the butter and sugars together.
3. Add the egg, banana and milk.
4. Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt in, bit by bit, and fold into the mixture. It should be just mixed and the consistency of runny porridge.
5. Pour into the tin or dish, and then bake for about an hour, or until it's golden-brown and a knife comes out clean when you stab it.
7. Eat immediately, still warm and with a glass of milk, or turn it out and onto a wire rack to cool and keep for later.

In the coming weeks, I intend to blow my entire month's monetary allowance on films. After what feels like years of counting down, I am so excited to see Up, Fantastic Mr Fox and Where The Wild Things Are that I might just watch them one after another after another. And with my new membership with cute little local renting shop, Vogue Video, I feel able to make a dent in my intimidatingly lengthy "films to-do" list...

I feel like I was so happy to see autumn this year that I forgot about that oh so important transition from summer to September and onwards. The softness of air in the evenings when the thermometer lets the mercury drop down a little more each night. The gradual swap between sandals and scarves. The last ice cream.

john t.


Cayt said...

When I'm substituting golden syrup for white sugar in cakes, I use 3/4 as much golden syrup by weight as I would sugar.

Enjoy your baking :)

Nicola said...

Up is WELL good. As are you.