Banana bread and healing: Baking is good for the soul
I’m making banana bread today. It’s a recipe from my great-great grandmother all the way from England. The bread comes out a gorgeous colour and texture, and tastes so good!
There’s something about the colder weather that brings out the baker in me. We’ve had a cold snap that’s brought me back to the oven.
I love to bake, and it’s very healing I find. Taking simple ingredients and making something beautiful is creating at its best.
I find I also go within myself when I bake. It’s almost like meditating in a way.
It was my mother who taught me to bake, ironically. I’m sure she believed girls should know how to bake. (There’s that evil word “should” again, but in this case I’m thankful.)
Since I’ve been baking from a young girl, I’m rather good at it. I can smell when something’s done. I can touch the bread and know by its bounce how cooked it is.
And I’ve been looking forward to making the bread since I took the ripe bananas out of the freezer yesterday.
I’m going to bring a loaf to my friend’s tonight. I’m being invited for duck, so I think bringing a loaf made with love is a great way to contribute.
Food brings people together.
I have had an issue with food since I was young. I didn’t give myself enough. It was a way I could control my life, but also food didn’t taste that great to me.
Originally my love of baking came from wanting to create rather than eating what I made.
It was only after I started taking an anti-depressant, when I was scarily skinny from depression, that food started to actually taste good.
As I learned that 80% of the serotonin our brain uses is produced in our stomach, I came to understand that I hadn’t been producing enough. Hence the breakdown, but also the lack of interest in food. The two were definitely connected for me.
So now I’m a healthy weight and bake to create and to eat. The best combination possible.
From the series, Because I’m a woman and because I can! by Jacqueline Snider, writer and editor