I’m asking rhetorically, maybe. I’ve always had such trouble breaking down my own timeline into different sections, compartments of being. For example, I tend to classify everything that happened to me before the age of 15 or so into one large clump of existence. I remember bits and pieces here and there, starting from age 3, but nothing terribly important or noteworthy (in my mind) happened up ’til my mid-adolescence. Memory is a fickle siren song.
Only now, I seem to want to break down my states of being as much as humanly possible. It’s part of the reason I first got into photography, I think. Photographs give me something tangible to reference, so I know exactly the sorts of things I was thinking and feeling whenever I took the photograph. Even more important than subject or location or atmosphere, I look for the mental schema that led me to capture one particular instance of light, one image, one particular sentiment.
Lately my timeline is fragmented by individual months. I’ll have some hobby I’ll pursue with abandon, never thinking much of it and never expecting anything to come of it. In the past, it’s been crafts like wood-burning, or botanical illustrations, or necklace making, or antler collecting. These strange fascinations that wax and wane out of my life, turning memory into something physical.
I often think baking is just my latest conduit for… remembering. But I love it.
Vegan Banana Bread Bites
2 large bananas, ripened
5 dates, pitted
1 tb molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup organic dark brown sugar
1/2 cup organic pastry flour, or all purpose
1/3 cup ground flax meal
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp butter flavoring
coconut flakes, unsweetened
In food processor, add bananas and dates, and puree until combined. Add in molasses, vanilla, and brown sugar, and optional butter flavoring, and pulse until smooth.
In separate bowl, whisk pastry flour, flax meal, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. Add in half of dry mixture to food processor, pulsing until combined. Add in other half and mix until a sticky dough forms.
Use an ice cream scoop or tablespoon to form small balls with dough, about 1″ in diameter. Place on silicon baking sheet at least 2″ apart. If desired, press shredded coconut into tops of dough. Bake on middle rack for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.
Ginger Maple Glaze
2 tb fresh minced ginger
1 tsp maple extract
1/4 cup organic powdered sugar
Mix all ingredients in small bowl until combined. Drizzle over cooled cookies.
The ginger maple glaze is optional, because without it these cookies really just taste like miniature loaves of banana bread. The glaze is spicy, but I think it works. Then again, I’m a huge fan of ginger, from its fragrance to its wonderful digestive benefits.
With these cookies, I recommend some very early morning sunlight. There’s nothing like banana bread at 5:30 am, in an empty house with all the shadows going to opposite way of how you normally see them.
Small comforts, so important.