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.
This Post Has 15 Comments
You are so strong! I hope you find what you need in the break you’re taking – sometimes it can be good just to take a step back and see what you have and how you’re doing. I have been taking a break from my, errrm, ‘everyday life’ for a while now and it’s helping me see things more clearly. What is important and what is not, for example. So good for you! I hope it helps.
And then the reason why I visit your blog so often: I always love your recipes and photos! That streusel topping looks delicious 😉
Vivian | stayaliveandcooking recently posted…Fennel and tomato soup
Mmm chocolate chips in banana bread? Such a great idea, Mir! So glad you shared this recipe with us!
You’re magnificent, my friend. Enjoy this next phase – I am excited for you! Take care, lovely… xo
Take care Mir, will wait for you to come back! 🙂
Hope the break helps you refocus and gives you some space! 🙂
Wow, Mir! I had no idea you had been through all that. I also somehow missed your last post about taking a break, so I had to go read that one too. I can 100% understand working a full time job with ridiculous hours and a ton of work then trying to keep up with a blog and all the work that entails. I didn’t know you in the beginning because I only started this craziness two years ago, but in that time I’ve always wondered how you kept up with your job, your family, and still manage to post three times a week. Maybe once you have a little rest and kiddo time, you will be refreshed and can come back and just post once a week or whenever the mood strikes you instead of trying to keep up with so much. At least I hope you do because I sure will miss you if you don’t, my friend!
P.S. Shame on that person for telling you your daughter’s traumatic birth was your fault. It wasn’t.
I had no idea what you had been through. Thank you for sharing this story. You are such an inspiration. Enjoy discovering yourself!
Amanda recently posted…Sweet Potato Pie
I’ve gotten really into banana bread again lately – this looks awesome! Love those chocolate chips!
Sabrina @ Familynano recently posted…Finding the Very Best Brand of Canned Clam Chowder
Oh Mir. You are amazing. You are so strong and brave, and I can’t tell you how many times your blog has made me stop and think. You take care of you, and when the time is right you will be back, and we will be here. I definitely will be. Hugs to you.
Kate @ Framed Cooks recently posted…Shrimp and Baby Potato Salad
You, Mir, are special indeed! I was just thinking I hadn’t seen an update and came by to see that you are taking a break. I never read the story about how JAB came into being and Wow – am blown away by your story. Such a lovely post and such an incredibly delicious loaf! I hope you are well – sending you virtual hugs and hoping to see you back here again.
Shashi at RunninSrilankan recently posted…Chocolate Oat Breakfast Cake
This recipe is good for Healthy breakfast. Kids will love it. Thanks for awesome the article <3. Thank you Mir
Normally, I only eat some common bread that they just add flour and some milk in it. But when I see your bread picture, I feel really hungry LOL
Iw” try to make it and hope it will has good taste. Thank you
Hope it was good!