Having decided to blog on dishes from children’s storybooks for this week’s Blogging Marathon, I started rummaging through my old bookshelf, the one that still holds all (well, I still have most of them!) the books I read while at school. I remembered most adventure stories, especially the Secret Seven and Famous Five series started off with holidays. And holidays meant treats and goodies, cakes and cookies, lemonade and ginger beer! Enough material for a good number of posts!
While I browsed thus, I came across a number of books I hardly remember reading. One of them is The Boxcar Children – The Yellow House Mystery. I turned the book round to see what it had on the back cover, and do you know what it said? “One warm night four children stood in front of the bakery. No one knew them. No one knew where they had come from.”
Doesn’t it sound interesting? The minute I saw the “bakery” part, I knew I had to include something from this book. The book is about four children who live with their grandfather. Their parents die when they are quite young. They initially live in a boxcar in some forest till they find their grandfather. In this particular mystery (The Yellow House is book number three in a series of 19 books), the children are out to find a man named Bill who’s been missing for 40 years.
I’m re-reading the book and it is fun to read a kiddo book after ages! There are many references to food in the book. The adventure takes the four to an island where they camp in the rough terrain and are on their own. Among the various things the kids have at the camp, is a ‘baker’ – a minimalist wood-fired oven! There is even a picture of the ‘baker’, a three-sided boxed thing with a rack, the open side of which faces the fire.
The foursome (assisted by an elder) cooks quite a few quick breads during the several days they spend at the camp. The first one they bake is a cornbread. The rest of times, the author hasn’t mentioned which quick bread. At times, they have bread for breakfast, sometimes for lunch and other times, for dinner.
I was on a baking-with-banana-high a while ago. A good two years after it became a craze on blogosphere. I find it is simple to bake this bread and turns out right almost always. The particular version I baked today is from Champa’s blog. I follow the recipe to a T and it has never failed me. The best thing is that it is with whole wheat and has no added fat – no oil, no butter! And the banana ensures it doesn’t feel too dry.
The picture I’ve posted here is the first time I baked it with chocolate chips. I baked half the recipe today with butterscotch chips (I used ¼ cup) and in a dome-shaped bowl instead of a loaf pan. It turned out delightful with the butterscotch melting through in some places and staying intact and crunchy at others. I even fed a couple of slices softened with milk to my toddler, who completed nine months today! Try this if you haven’t baked a banana bread/cake with whole wheat before. I’m sure you as well as your little ones will love it.