|The beach at Carkeek Park on July 4th - summer nearly reaches Washington at last|
Even on the busy holiday, the park was beautiful. I'm consistently amazed by how quickly you feel deep in the woods out here. The woods on this coast feel old. 100 yards from the road you feel as though you've entered Jurassic Park. In the northeast you are lucky to find any forest not spiderwebbed with old farm stone walls, and you certainly can't walk directly off of a city street into quiet world of hundred year old pines and impenetrable ferns. I like the pines, they seem otherworldly and wise compared to my ephemeral friends the maples, oaks, and beeches.
The beach has a view of the Olympic mountains across the water. I can't believe that people live with this kind of vista everyday, to the point that it becomes mundane. There are plenty of beautiful places in the Northeast but nothing of this scale and grandeur. Sometimes Washington seems too idyllic to be real. So much of my life is spent wishing that my world were as beautiful and spacious as it is out here, and that people were as friendly and open-minded as the people I've met in Bellingham, and that muffins and good coffee were available on every street corner. I'm not sure I would know what to do with myself if I permanently didn't have to wish anymore.
For lunch we headed down to Ballard and went to Kiss Cafe. While my plan was to get a light meal, I was unsurprisingly wooed by something a little more robust: the Battered Elvis - french toast stuffed with peanut butter, banana, cinnamon, and honey. When someone offers to serve you piles of battered bread smothered in fruit, cinnamon and peanut butter, you simply owe it to your soul to accept. It was perfect in every way - except perhaps it could have benefitted from a little bit of chocolate, but honestly, what can't? I am certainly going to have to recreate this one this weekend.
The rest of the afternoon was spent baking banana bread and watching some choice day-time programming, followed by an evening of barbecues, beers and general merriment. The best forth of July I have had in a long time, for sure.
My roommate and I baked this banana bread to contribute to the barbecue - her mom's recipe. It's simple, incredibly easy to make and delicious!
Dairy-Free Banana Bread:
- 2 bananas
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1-1/4 cups of flour (I prefer it with whole wheat flour)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
-1/2 cup oil
- 1 cup of dark chocolate chips (optional)
1) preheat the oven to 325 degrees
2) butter baking pans - you can do one large loaf pan or multiple smaller ones
3) Mix together the sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt, in a mixing bowl and whisk together.
4) In a separate bowl, mash the bananas into a paste
4) Add the eggs, oil, bananas and chocolate chips to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth
5) Pour into baking pans (batter should not fill the pans over 2/3 of their capacity)
6) Bake for between 45mins to and hour - depending on the size of the pans. Use a toothpick to test the bread's readiness.