It’s official! I have skipped past the “turning into my mother” stage of life and moved swiftly into turning into my grandmother. In particular, I have turned into my paternal grandmother, the amazing, brilliant, much-missed Clarice Lewis. She was strong, feisty, an unashamed feminist, an activist, a lover of costume jewellery and bold lipstick – and she always had at least two cakes in the house at any given point in time.
Her cakes were legendary, especially the ginger cake with the wavy pink icing. I still haven’t been able to unearth that recipe so I’m going to have to set aside some time to try and recreate its fluffy, spicy goodness. But in the meantime, I once again had a couple of bananas that needed to be used. So, once again, I went for the lockdown staple of banana bread.
My last banana bread featured glace cherries and mixed peel for a stained glass effect, along with a hint of almond flavour. This time around, I’ve added a cinnamon swirl and a hint of lemon juice to the batter. I posted a picture of the latest banana bread on my Facebook page and a friend of mine commented that it looks great but she doesn’t like bananas! For other anti-banana types, this can be made without banana but maybe add a little extra butter and flour to bulk it out. Other possible additions that would work well with the cinnamon swirl and hint of lemon in the batter include grated apple or dried fruit. This bad boy can also be frosted – I would suggest using the cream cheese frosting from my lemon and blueberry ripple cake.
As much as I love cooking, I am looking forward to restaurants reopening post-lockdown. As well as the sheer joy of sitting at a table to eat a meal prepared by someone else, I get loads of cookery ideas from dining out. But in the meantime, we’ll always have banana bread…