February 24, 2008

Psst…A Contest! (and then we discuss baking)

Want to Win a Free Copy of The Girl Who Stopped Swimming?

Heads Up! Dee’s Book Dish has the goods, with not ONE but TWO ways to win a signed copy, one for my fellow bloggers, and one that ANYONE can enter. YAY! GO DEE. And also, GO Other Dee, because there are two of them running Dee’s Dish. It almost should be Dees’s Book Dish but that’s hard to read and say. So.


You have until THURSDAY to enter to win your own free personalized and signed copy of TGWSS. And I tell ya what I’m going to do, to make this feel more like an infomercial. I am going to throw in another prize for each contest. I will give Dee (and Dee) two copies of TGWSS on AUDIO. Enter her contest, and you are eligible to win those prizes as well. AND IF YOU ENTER IN THE NEXT TEN MINUTES, WE’LL THROW IN SOME C!AL!S AND A FREE CUTTING BOARD!!!1!!11oneoneeleventy < --- Not true.

I LOVE the contest for bloggers, by the way. It’s SO brilliant because it’s like a blog tour, only with prizes. I’ve got a nice blogsize cover shot hosted here if you can’t host images and need to borrow my bandwidth to enter:


NOW, re: Baking… you may remember I gave up Desserts and Wine for Lent. And I am capitalizing Desserts and Wine because they are my go-to comfort foods. My third book is about to launch, I am NERVOUS and HOPEFUL and CRAZED, and I miss Desserts and Wine, I miss them maybe so much I should call them DEEEZZZZERRRTZ and WHIIIIIINE. If it wasn’t for faith and coffee, I would have snapped four days ago and cannibalized a neighbor. Just saying, this is a challenging Lenten season, and while I am trying to use the deprivations properly, as a launch pad for meditation, I am beginning to use them wrongfully, as a launch pad for crabbiness and general malaise.

SO. I accidentally overbought bananas, and my USUAL move would be to take the oldest ones and make ‘Naner Bread. GREAT IDEA, except banana bread is secretly cake. People CALL it a bread, but COME ON. Secretly? Total cake. And I am not eating cake. I googled Diabetic Banana Bread Recipes, and came up with cake recipes that have Splenda instead of sugar. Cake with Splenda is STILL dessert, in my book.

I plumbed the DEPTHS of google and found a crazy health-nut food whole-wheat-flour nutburger version with NO sugar, and you use Applesauce to replace BOTH the sugar and the butter. SO! Banana bread sweetened only with bananas and no-sugar applesauce is EMPHATICALLY not cake. I thought that must truly be a BREAD, and I can EAT bread.

I corralled my baking posse (aka Sam and Maisy) and we mashed and mixed and filled muffin cups and ect. And I stood beside the oven dancing from one foot to other hopefully awaiting the advent of hot fruity carbs.

I am appalled to report to you that while banana bread with no sugar or butter is definitely not CAKE, it is ALSO not exactly BREAD. I think it is technically a moldy kitchen sponge. Or perhaps a fungus that has been doused in wallpaper paste. No one will eat it except the dog, and it gave the dog such HORRIFIC gas that I had to box him up and ship him to France. This gas was SO virulent it was LEECHING IN from the backyard. I tried to use a Canadian return address. Because France is already TICKED with us and THIS DOG and his EMANATIONS are not going to help the case AGAINST us all being Ugly Americans. Oh well.

Go with God, Bagel! Send postcards!

Posted by joshilyn at February 24, 2008 2:12 PM

Oh Joss it's BREAD, really and truly. Unless you're like my mom and you put chocolate chips in it!

Posted by: Heather Cook at February 24, 2008 3:42 PM

Heather! FOR SHAME! In your heart, you KNOW it is cake.

Posted by: Joshilyn at February 24, 2008 3:46 PM

I am proud of you for keeping the faith, Joss! Sorry about the banana sponges. Poor dog... Poor French... Poor you...

I am excited about Dee's contest. I just posted my Bette Midler story in her comments. It was fun to read everyone else's stories, too.

Posted by: Jill at February 24, 2008 3:53 PM

Okay, Sweat Pea. Here's what to do with bananas when you aren't going to make cake, a.k.a. banana bread. Banana French toast! (And we're keeping with the French theme, as well). This is decidedly NOT cake. It is breakfast food. Well, sometimes at my house cake is breakfast food. But this isn't cake. Stick a half a banana and an egg and a splash of milk and a little bit of vanilla in the blender. Ok, let's be real. Use the whole banana and 2 eggs. Whoosh it. Then pour it into a dish and dip pieces of bread in this goop and fry it up in a little bit of butter in your skillet. Top with powdered sugar or syrrup. Well, maybe during Lent you could skip the sugar or syrrup. It's still breakfast, not cake. And you don't waste your bananas, which is a whole other sin.

Leslie, in Hiawatha

Posted by: Leslie Noon at February 24, 2008 4:23 PM

I'm with Leslie. I think that "dessert" is a function of timing more than it is of components. Like, if you eat it before, say, 11 a.m., it is BREAKFAST and not dessert, because breakfast does not HAVE dessert.

So I'm down theologically with you having a nice breakfast of coffee and, say, chocolate eclairs. But then again I failed Hebrew in Dublin, so what do I know.

Posted by: Cornelia Read at February 24, 2008 4:32 PM

I think it counts as bread. It's not cake unless it has frosting on it.

Posted by: Caryn at February 24, 2008 8:05 PM

TOTALLY not cake. Banana bread is a perfectly child-friendly breakfast food. Cake is emphatically NOT. Ergo, banana bread is not cake.

Do not even try to argue with this logic.

Posted by: Amy-Go at February 24, 2008 8:42 PM

I'm in the Leslie/Cornelia camp. If you have banana bread at night, it's cake. If you have it for breakfast, it's bread. It's all in the timing. I've been known to eat oatmeal cake (the kind with the broiled coconut and brown sugar topping!) for breakfast even though I still call it cake because, Dude....it's OATMEAL cake, so it's TOTALLY breakfast food. Dessert is what you eat *after* a meal. If it *is* the meal, then it can't be dessert! Right? DO I hear an "Amen" from the back row??

Posted by: DebR at February 25, 2008 12:49 AM

AMEN!! <--- to DebR, from me and all my wee ones!

Exactly what they said, Joss. If it happens before noon, it can't be dessert. Plus, it does NOT have icing. Well, if it does, then scrape it off and give it to Bagel. Poor thing deserves it after you fed him a flatulent sponge. :)

And thanks for the linky-love! Hope more bloggers enter to win, especially with the cool prizes you're tossing in!

Posted by: dee at February 25, 2008 1:02 AM

Oh the French probably had it coming.

Posted by: nik at February 25, 2008 1:41 AM

Maybe dessert isn't the right word. I was going to say SUGAR, but that isn't right either, as I won't eat desserts with Splenda....Maybe the best word is sweets.

Time of day doesn't matter, as far as Lent goes... I won't have, say, donuts for breakfast. Or Pillsbury Orange ROlls. And not banana bread, which has as much sugar as cake, and I STILL feel like, it is CAKE! SO.

But I will eat fruit and drink fruit juices and diet coke...I can;t explain it very exactly, but there are thing I look at that I think, OH can I have that? And if I ever question it, then the answer is no. I can;t define the line for you, but something internal knows it, and will not let me cross it.

Posted by: joshilyn at February 25, 2008 5:53 AM

Good girl, Joshilyn, don't let all of us devil's advocates talk you into loopholes, such as (say) pancakes with banana slices in them.

Poor, stinky Bagel. Maybe I should have shipped my husband out with him last night.

Posted by: Brigitte at February 25, 2008 6:23 AM

Ok, ok, I give. I knew what you meant, but I'm so into semantics and loopholes I should've been a lawyer. Heh.

So you aren't actually giving up dessert, you're giving up foods with more sugar (in whatever form!) than food value - Sinfully Sweet Indulgent Treats. There you go - you're giving up wine and SSITs. :-)

Posted by: DebR at February 25, 2008 8:44 AM

Freeze your bananas and save up for a bananacakefest once Lent is over!

Posted by: ailo at February 25, 2008 9:37 AM

mmmm..... frozen bananas....good stuff

Posted by: Jan in Norman, OK at February 25, 2008 9:42 AM

I'm sorry about the results of the experiment: I often substitute apple butter for HALF of the butter in a recipe, but all of it - no.

Instead of trying for fruity carbs, perhaps you can go straight to fruit? Because they are not dessert, but can be very satisfying - and offer you a chance to be very grateful for the bounty of the earth. Have a fig. Or take a date, and cut it open and stick a) a pecan and some brie or b) some dried cranberries inside. Figs and dates are biblical.

Not trying to evade the resolution - but maybe the crabbiness!

Posted by: Diane (TT) at February 25, 2008 11:06 AM

Joss, I think the term you're looking for is "baked goods", no? "Dessert" is just the function of the baked good.

And yah, sorry about the results of that - I substitute applesauce for OIL in most baking recipes, but I've never heard of doing it for butter/sugar.

Posted by: Jess at February 25, 2008 11:18 AM

OMG! YOU KNOW if you send that poor poor poor dog to Canada you won't be allowed Poutine ever again!!!! Send it to Greenland or something. Nobody really lives there.

Posted by: Liatris at February 26, 2008 8:15 AM

Totally not cake, totally not dessert. And anything before 11am is totally breakfast, ergo no way can it be cake because then my mom would be mad at my dietary habits. You could try Dutch Babies (sorry switching international themes here) I have them for dinner all the time, but instead of the cherries have bananas.

Oh and when's dinner?

Posted by: Cele at February 26, 2008 6:18 PM