Baking the Blues Away

Salty banana chocolate cake with ginger

No one in my family eats bananas anymore.  Remember when you used to give your infant a banana and they smiled and gurgled like you'd just taken them to Disney World?  Those days are over around here.  Loretta eats one bite then plays with the peel and Wyatt has sworn off them forever. He says they make him gag, but he's just being a six-year-old teenager about it. And let's face it--I don't eat them much, either.  When I put a bunch in my cart at the produce stand, here's what my subconscious is up to--"There may come an afternoon when I'm mildly depressed and feel like baking.  There may only be a couple eggs in the house and a bit of flour left in the bin.  But if there are overripe bananas, I will HAVE to use them.  I will have to bake banana bread. In so doing, I may feel better about myself and the world." Today is that day.  The bread (if you can call my version that) is in the oven and I feel a little better already.

My reasons for mild depression are myopic and faithless--I don't want to bore you with them.  But it's just been one of those days--the kind I've written about plenty of times.  It's been SO one of those days, in fact, that I also made a galette at 6:45 a.m. It's a belated birthday present for my brother-in-law Michael.  Money is tight and men are SO HARD to shop for (most of them, anyway).  So I've talked myself out of feeling bad about it, especially since I nibbled a bit off the corner and decided it tastes like love and celebration in a crust.

glossy ganache with salt

The banana bread recipe is Molly Wizenberg's, and you can find it here.  I had some chocolate ganache leftover in my fridge from my late-night sundae, so warmed that up and poured it over the top.  Then, because I have a beautiful little dish of finishing salt on my counter, I sprinkled some of it over the glossy chocolate.  Salty Chocolate Banana Cake with Ginger is what I'd call it, I think.

apricot galette

The galette "recipe" involves this crust.  Roll it into a round and spread about 1 c. of whole milk ricotta (sweetened with about 2 Tb. honey) over it, leaving a 1" border.  Cut up a dozen medium apricots and toss them in a bowl with 3/4 c. sugar and a bit of vanilla. Arrange the apricots over the ricotta, and fold the crust in toward the middle .  Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes.  If I wasn't giving this away, I'd scatter some fresh thyme over the top, too.

There you have it--a day of baking my blues away.  Maybe (and most likely) tomorrow will be better.  A breakfast of banana cake bodes well.