I know, I know. I’m on a JAB break. But this was already baked and the photos taken, so I’m posting it. That’s how I do.
Seriously, it’s been a weird week. When I stepped back from the blog, I found out something interesting. A few things, actually. I’ll share them momentarily.
I’ll also share this chocolate chip streusel banana bread, which is heaven. How can it not be? It’s the most perfect banana bread, all filled and topped with chocolate chips and the most delightful, crumbly streusel.
Back when JAB began, I had just come away from a traumatic life event. I’ve talked about it before, and so I’ll just quickly summarize. My youngest daughter had a dangerous birth with an abrupted placenta, and both she and I went into distress. I remember looking at the ceiling as everything went blurry, struggling to breathe, watching Kenny tending to the baby and thinking, “I’m going to die alone.” It was not a moment I’d like to repeat, though someday I will, of course.
Afterward, I blamed myself. She’d been breech, and I’d been doing a lot of alternative methods to try and turn her, like acupuncture and chiropractic maneuvers. All of these were doctor-approved, and when I asked the doctor afterward if it could have caused the trauma, he insisted that it was just bad luck and nothing more. But somebody close to the family suggested to me that it had been my fault, and no matter how vehemently I denied it to her, I was angry and forlorn.
Thus began a year of not being that nice to myself. I was probably suffering some form of postpartum depression as well, and I set about holding myself accountable for both things that were in and out of my control. I sought perfection, and it wasn’t sustainable. I began to heal.
JAB was part of my healing process. I gave myself permission to be fun for a while and to try new things. I took up the guitar, started this blog, and began trying things I’d never tried before. I wanted to see what I could do, however imperfectly. It was humbling. I stink at the guitar, but I love it. The blog has been just fine, but not anything super special. And I’m not perfect, but boy, I’d like to think that I’m special.
Along the road, I met lots of blog friends who supported me. Alice and Dorothy, who continued to help me whenever I needed it despite the fact that they are big news and I am not. So many big-time bloggers never give anyone the time of day, but they did. I will always consider them friends. Cheyanne and Annie and Kate, who felt like friends in the struggle, and who are all magnificent. Gayle, who has achieved so much so quickly. Lisa, whose sense of humor I relate to like crazy. And endless more people I spent parts of my virtual week with. I’ll still visit their blogs, but I’ll miss the interaction.
What I discovered on my week off is that I am still as busy as I was before, but I have the space now to give everybody and everything a little more time. My children now have more of my undivided attention on weekends, and that’s priceless. Plus, for the first time in years, I picked up a spiritual text and started reading it. I’ve been avoiding religious texts since the incident years ago, not sure of how to tackle some of my biggest spiritual questions. Now I want to face my fears and get on with living.
As I said last week, I’m taking a break. I don’t know how permanent this is, or if I’ll miss JAB so much that I’ll be back within a few weeks. No idea. But I have to give myself this time, and we’ll go from there. Hope your autumn goes beautifully, and I’ll miss you for now!
Chocolate Chip Streusel Banana Bread
2 cups oat flour (certified GF)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3-4 small ripe mashed bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips, divided
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oat flour (certified GF)
- Preheat the oven to 350. Coat a 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the oat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a larger bowl, combine the oil, sugar, brown sugar, mashed banana, vanilla and eggs. Stir until smooth.
- Add the dry mixture to the banana mixture. Stir until the batter is mixed. Add half of the chocolate chips and stir again. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients. Stir the melted butter, sugars, cinnamon and salt together. Mix in the flour with your hands, combining until crumbs of multiple sizes form.
- Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the cake as well as the remaining chocolate chips.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool and cut into slices.