This year seems to be turning into our own personal “annus horribilis”. Life is full of ups and downs but the downs seem to be winning so far. I won’t bore you with the list but the latest tragedy to befall us is the loss of our dog Lulu.
She has featured occasionally in this blog, ever present in the kitchen to see what titbits might come her way and even had her own biscuits in a post. She was our “best girl”, a beautiful, well behaved and delightful dog who deserved to live longer than barely eight years. It would have been her birthday in the middle of this month.
Getting used to life without Lulu will take some doing and with her passing being so recent, we are all at sixes and sevens. All the dog lovers out there will know what I mean and how we feel. Nick has been out riding his bicycle and shoveling mountains of gravel as a distraction. I have been doing housework, in a chaotic and disorganised fashion, with a constant feeling that I have forgotten to do something.
Baking is as good a distraction as any, very therapeutic, and I could resist the urge no longer this afternoon. I wasn’t up to tackling a challenging recipe but looking at two bananas way past their best, chose a very simple, chuck it all in the food processor recipe on the Good Food website, simply called “Banana Cake”. You can see it here.
I added some desiccated coconut and a handful of halved strawberries and it was remarkably good. Not fantastic and not as good as other banana cakes, but very good for such a quick and simple recipe.
It was nice and moist, had that slightly boingy texture that banana cakes often have, you could taste the coconut but it could have done with more strawberries to taste those properly. I shall add it to my repertoire of very quick and easy cakes, handy for when getting a home made cake on the table fast is more important than how memorable it is.
The baking helped. Words cannot describe how much we miss our best girl and time will heal, I know. For the moment it hurts. You can read more about Lulu in her own blog here.
Banana and Coconut Cake
2 overripe smallish bananas
170g golden caster sugar
170g self raising flour
170g Flora Buttery
a few drops vanilla extract
50g desiccated coconut
a handful of small strawberries, halved
Preheat the oven to 160° C / 140° fan / gas mk 3. Put a paper liner into a 2lb loaf tin, or grease well.
Put all the ingredients except the coconut and strawberries into a food process and blend until well combined. Add the coconut and strawberries and blend briefly to mix in.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 1 hour or until done.
Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
Cuts into 10-12 thick slices.