Food / Photography

Freshly Baked

Following on from the Anzac post, I decided to bake another true-blue Aussie classic.  Banana bread is as ubiquitous in Australia as a mustard-covered hotdog in Manhattan or tahina-soaked felaffel in Tel Aviv.  In Australia, it’s as common as blonde-haired surfers, no-right-turns, high vis jackets, delightful industrial/vintage/boho cafes, tattooed hoons in souped up Holdens and overpriced real estate.  So, quite common then.

Aussies prefer their banana bread in the morning.  It’s almost always on breakfast menus and if it isn’t, expect them to ask for it.  They eat thickly cut slices whilst sipping on cafe lattes, flat whites and cappuccinos.

Having just baked a loaf a few minutes ago (a pecan nut version), I can emphatically confirm that banana bread in NO way resembles bread.  Banana bread is CAKE.  I don’t know many other breads that boast half a cup of butter and 2 cups of brown sugar.  But don’t let that stop you from indulging in this traditional and utterly scrumptious Aussie classic!  For the domestically inclined, I’ve shared my photographic interpretation of the food.com recipe I used, below.

Side note: I was recently introduced to Lisa Goldberg, member of the Sydney-based Monday Morning Cooking Club.  Lisa and five other friends have been cooking together every Monday morning for 6 years.  A few years ago, they decided to publish a cook book for charity.  They then extended their material to include the best recipes from the best cooks in Sydney’s Jewish community.

{From their website}

We wanted to share with the world our community’s unusually strong, somewhat obsessive, connection with food.  
If someone is ill, chicken soup is promptly made and delivered.
  If someone dies, eggs are boiled and bagels are bought.
  No flowers are sent; a cake is baked.
  If a baby is born, entire meals are prepared for entire families.  It is always about the food.

And so we met every Monday morning – to chop and stir, mince and roll, roast and bake, fry and boil. We tasted and ate, laughed and debated, argued and agreed. We culled and vetted, tested and re-tested, and argued and laughed some more.

The result is a beautiful, coffee table-style cookbook filled with a mix of culturally-rich recipes – a collection that can be shared and passed on to future generations.  To date, they have sold over 10,000 books.  The books are available via their website and in selected bookstores throughout Australia.  I can’t wait to try out the recipes, which include one from my mother’s cousin in Sydney.  All proceeds got to charity.

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