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Today, the ninth of April, marked my first foray into food photography.

It did not begin well.

I arranged my little loaves of banana bread neatly on a yellow cloth. I added a banana and an apple, then sprinkled chocolate chips and pecans around the base of the bread. I began taking my photos from above—and they were anything but compelling.

I began to think. What is wrong? I’ve done everything correctly.

Then, I had an epiphany.

My pictures had no depth. Because I had placed everything straight onto the cloth, there was nothing to add visual interest, nor was there any sort of a story portrayed. It was simply bread and fruit on a table, without purpose.

From the moment I realized this, everything went quite smoothly. I am really proud of the results. Certainly, I failed at first. I would show you how terrible the first set was, but I deleted them out of sheer embarrassment. In hindsight, it would be nice to have a record, to show how much such a simple lesson can change. First and foremost, I reinforced for myself the fact that failure is truly positive if used as a stimulus for growth. I have learned quite a lot today—and it all began with failure.

Now, for the recipe. This is a favorite of mine. I’ve made it so many times, I know the recipe by heart.

ImageBanana Bread

makes 1 loaf

Adapted slightly from this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 C whole wheat flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 + 1/3 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 C honey
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 mashed overripe bananas
  • Plenty of chocolate chips and chopped pecans. Seriously, don’t be afraid to dump in a whole bag of chocolate chips. It’s marvelous.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce and honey. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture, just to moisten. Fold in chocolate chips and pecans. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  3. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting.

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