Just when it looked like spring had sprung on the west coast, we got hit with another blast of winter. It’s a bit of a novelty to see snow here, so when it happens, the world turns upside-down. The busses and train stop running, the grocery stores shelves grow bare, and that inner child can’t help but come out. With school cancelled and both of us home, the week has been full with late-night snowy strolls, cups of cocoa, and the inevitable snowball fight….
The farther away I’ve travel from the west coast, the worse and worse the muffins begin to taste. And this has consistently really bummed me out. There, I said it. Phewf, that was oddly releasing. I always think optimistically about new cities and coffee shops, I’ve even been known to google search ‘best muffins in so and so town’, but these tactics are never to any avail. I’ll walk in, press my little face to the glass, taking one look in the case of fluffy white cakes, and shutter away in disappointment. I clearly remember the one time this summer in New York, when I was unorganized and therefore found myself out of the house and famished. I headed into a coffee shop before work and saw a blueberry muffin which appeared really promising. I took it to go and headed to my internship where I eagerly dug into the top (like the true Elaine I am), only to discover the weird taste of artificial cake, and the icky feeling of pasty white flour and sensation of greasy fingertips. A sudden wave of disappointment hit me, and I’m pretty sure the rest of it laid untouched all day.
I was recently asked by a reader for breakfast ideas she could easily grab when she was late for school – something quick, easy, and of course, healthy. Then it got me thinking about my own eating habits and how when they suffer it is because I fail to plan ahead. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, but it so often gets interrupted by work schedules and early mornings. While I always make sure my weekend breakfast are pretty amazing, my weekday breakfasts are a little bit lacking – usually consisting of some fresh sour dough bread with nut butter or a muffin I grab at work. Lately, I have been in the habit of making a smoothie (like my Big Green Breakfast Bowl) the night before I have to be somewhere early, but unfortunately I don’t always find smoothies as filling as I would like them to be. Usually I eat at 5 a.m and then I don’t get to sit and eat again for another 5 and a half hours, which leaves me so hungry and susceptible to becoming hangry (a dangerous combination of anger and hunger). My need to find easy snacks, and my reader’s need for a quick breakfast got me thinking about what I could make that would be both quick, tasty, and nutritious, and I think I’ve found it in these little ‘cakes’.
While the first day of Spring may be two whole months away, I already feel ready for it. One of the perks about living on the West Coast, and in Victoria specifically, is that winter is pretty non-existent. Instead of having four seasons like the rest of Canada, Victoria has about two – rainy and not rainy. From September to about April it rains, and I mean rains. Then from May to about August it doesn’t, and we call that ‘summer’. Because of the lack of snow and cold, it means that spring starts early here. The bulbs in my garden are already about 4 cm high and the cherry trees which line the main streets are beginning to breakout in their pink popcorn like blossoms. Even the pansies from last year have continued to bloom all through the winter months, bringing some much needed colour to the grey days.The budding new life and green hues have been inspiring to me, encouraging me to break from my winter porridge and stewed fruit breakfast routine, forcing me to search for new, fresh, and clean flavours.
I’ve always appreciated the saying that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Although I don’t always follow through on it, there is something about the idea of looking on the bright side which I believe to be really healthy. But what about when life gives to kumquats, or durian, or prickly pear? What are you supposed to do then? What about if you’re given a plate for which you have no recipe?…Answer, you make banana bread.
A couple of weeks ago life gave me a plate that I didn’t really know what to make of. And the sad part was, I knew it was coming but I chose to ignore it. Last year Adam and I graduated with our university degrees – both in sociology. We chose the subject out of love for theory and not for a future profession (as you can’t do anything but teach with this degree), knowing that we would have to go back to school eventually. So for the last year we have worked at the bakery, saving money, and using the break from school as a time to reflect on where we wanted go in life. And here we are, one year latter and ready for a change, at least I think we’re ready.