It’s been a week of spring cleaning, I guess, here in the Enlightened Absolutism of Amandaland. I’m hesitant to really call it spring cleaning, though, because a)it won’t really be spring until 11:21pm tomorrow night; and b)last year I did my ‘spring cleaning’ in late August. But Sunday and Monday I cleaned and rearranged the office; Tuesday I swept, vacuumed, and dusted my bedroom; Wednesday and Thursday I swept some and rearranged the living room (still need to finish up some work in there); and yesterday I did all of the dishes and cleaned up some in the kitchen (still need to finish up quite a bit in there, too).

And since all of my cookware is clean, that means I baked today. Another experiment success, though it could use a little tweaking yet. I was kinda cleaning stuff out of my freezer, and I came upon dozen or so bananas I had stashed in there. So I decided on banana bread or muffins of some nature.

I started with Nigella Lawson’s recipe for Banana Butterscotch Muffins, from Nigella Express (I have it from the library). I liked it because it uses vegetable oil instead of butter – I wouldn’t have to wait for butter to come to room temperature, nor would I need to use Shelley and do any creaming. My original plan was to use cinnamon chips in place of the butterscotch chips, as that was what I had (not to mention that I don’t like butterscotch).

But while I was waiting for the bananas to thaw (really doesn’t take all that long), I got online to look at banana bread recipes, mainly because I wondered if I could find the one I used to use in law school that was practically fat free. I didn’t find it, but I found one that used crushed pineapple and one that used coconut. Which got me thinking…

I subbed whole wheat four for a portion of the AP flour (a little less than half), and also threw in 1/4 cup flaxmeal (I almost never bake without it anymore). Used Egg Beaters instead of actual eggs. And 3/4 cup each of shredded coconut and chopped pineapple (I had some chunks in the fridge, so I didn’t have to open a can). Baked them for 25 minutes instead of 20 (discovered years ago that baking with egg substitutes tends to take a little longer).

First thing I discovered is that they are too moist to have the paper peeled off immediately out of the oven – they need to cool a few minutes first.

The tweaking comes with issues of salt and butter. Strangely, the recipe has no salt in it whatsoever. And it needs it. Easy enough fix – just add 1/4 teaspoon if/when I make these again.

Butter is more difficult…from both a health and laziness standpoint, I like the idea of using vegetable oil. But it ends up missing that buttery flavor that I tend to associate with banana bread/muffins. Sure I put butter on to eat them (actually, it was I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter spray), but I don’t want to be required to do that. And I have philosophical objections to using butter flavoring. I’ll have to think about it and make some decisions.

I’m also considering a rum glaze and calling my creation/variation Rupert Holmes Muffins.


Other stuff that kinda connects in a way…

I’ve realized yet again that my intuition/instincts do not lead me wrong.

I’ve realized that I’m not lonely for people in general; I’m lonely for specific people in my life.

And going back to my apartment…even with all of my cleaning and rearranging, it still feels like something is missing. It feels…empty. Cold and frozen. Which is how I usually feel – frozen in the soul. I’m hesitant to paint, because I really don’t want to me living here much longer. But I have to wonder if it might help on both levels.