After reading her banana bread recipe with chocolate and crystallized ginger, I simply had to make it. We dug into the cake that night and it truly is to die for. Hands down, the best banana bread I have ever had. And believe me, I have had my fair share of banana breads. The next day, DFJ sent me a message and said “I’m sorry I can’t stop eating this banana bread.” When we were down to about two slices, he warned me to hide a slice for myself if I want to eat the last bit of it because by the time I get home, it will be gone and he won’t feel any remorse.
As if by fate, it seemed like Molly wanted me to try her recipe for roasted tomatoes. A couple of days into reading her book, I passed by a lonely sign that said “Tomatoes” on a quiet road side after seeing my last student. A U-turn at the next safe spot and less than a minute later I was bedazzled by tomatoes of different kinds displayed on a table in front of someone’s garage. Cherry, grape, Roma, and beefsteak tomatoes greeted me. No one was manning the stand, just a sign that said 75c/lb, a scale, a money jar, and plastic bags to carry the tomatoes home in. I bought 2 and ½ lbs worth and would have bought more if there was more change in my wallet. Driving home, I was not quite sure what to do with all the tomatoes I just bought. And then it hit me, Molly’s roasted tomatoes! She tells a story of a summer when her family had an influx of tomatoes begging to be taken care of and I knew that that was exactly what I needed to do. So, on a hot Thursday afternoon, the oven was on for 6 hours… all because of Molly. And you know what? It made me so happy. Never before had I attempted to make my own “sundried” tomatoes and these were muy excellente.
On that same day, I wanted to make the meatball recipe she had in her book. It was made with modifications because we did not have all the required ingredients around. I made do and it was great. One of these days though, I will definitely have to try her original recipe with the raisins. We did have raisins but I forgot to add them in. Dang!
Two Fridays ago, DFJ and I had a semi-impromptu dinner party to welcome my friend, Anna’s, mom. This was the perfect occasion to bake Molly’s Apricot Pistachio Cake that I substituted with peaches. The cake was divine. Simply divine. Soft, sweet, luscious, exotic even… classy yet homey. The kind of cake that warms your heart and makes you smile. Everyone was in love with the cake. Need I say more?
If you haven’t read A Homemade Life yet, then you must go get yourself a copy. NO, do not borrow it from a friend or the library. You want to own this book because it is a treasure. It’s my latest one.
P.S. Do yourselves a favor and please do not read this on the treadmill, elliptical, or exercise bike. I made this mistake and almost went insane with hunger. After knocking off chapter upon chapter while walking on the treadmill, I started feeling woozy. It wasn’t the walking… no other book has had this effect on me while on an exercise equipment. I had to stop and start making my way home. As luck would have it, rain started falling right when I stepped out of the gym. So, I had no choice but to RUN home. Normally, I wouldn’t have minded walking in the rain. That would have been fun! However, I had this precious book with me and I couldn’t bear to get it wet. I could’ve just tucked it under my tank top but that would have looked awkward and I wouldn’t have wanted to slather sweat all over my book. So, I ran straight to my kitchen, grabbed a box of Triscuits from the pantry and sat on the kitchen floor. I couldn’t even make it to the dining room which was merely 10 steps away. DFJ grabbed a placemat, some chips and salsa, and sat with me. He knows all too well not to mess with a hungry me.