It can seem crazy to stop everything and whip up a cake when things are busy, but I'm constantly reminded of how important it is to make some time for yourself every now and then. There is so much buzz around mindfulness at the moment, and it's worth listening to - everyone needs downtime occasionally.
When my alarm went off at 6.45am on Saturday - on Saturday - I wasn't convinced. But by lunchtime I was sat at my Granny's sewing machine, pattern pieces carefully cut out, the first pieces of a dress coming together. It may have taken a weekend and several stiff drinks for both of us, but I had my first homemade garment packed in my bag for the train journey home. I feel very lucky that my grandparents are still in my life and passing on everything they've learnt to us.
Perhaps it was the sewing - perhaps it was the fact that my grandparents life in a wi-fi blackspot - but this weekend was the first time I felt able to really switch off from life. It was fun, and I hope I'll have the mental energy to put my sewing lessons to use again one day.
For now, I'm sticking to baking. This banana coconut loaf is naturally dairy free, and low in sugar too. It's so easy to make and, if the remainder I polished off yesterday is anything to go by, actually gets better for being kept for a few days.
THE INGREDIENTS (all at room temperature)
75g coconut oil
100g coconut cream
75g caster sugar
1 tbsp treacle
3 small ripe bananas
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp Malibu rum (optional, but delicious)
Line a 1 lb loaf tin with parchment, and preheat the oven to 180C. Beat the coconut oil, coconut cream, sugar, treacle and egg to combine. Mash the bananas separately, then mix through.
Sieve in the flour, baking powder and salt, mix, then pour into the lined tin. Bake in your preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, until it is golden and passes the knife test. While the cake is still hot, brush with the malibu. Allow to cool before slicing.