I was thrilled to read a pre-release of Shauna Niequist’s new book this past month. I’m sure part of it was that it felt like talking to a grown up friend, something I needed in these spit-up covered early baby days. Did you know that spit up makes your hair a big sticky knot? Me neither, until last month.
I am a fan of Shauna’s writing for so many reasons, but most of all because it is honest. She talks about life and family and following Jesus in the day to day and I think Yes. That sounds real.
Her new book, Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table, with Recipes, is a lovely read. As the title indicates, the table is the focal point; it’s about the ways a meal can create space for friendship and growth. As I read, I kept wanting to write. As I read, I wanted to live my own story better.
Tomorrow I’ll offer a few thoughts of my own that her writing inspired. But today, the food. Beyond the stories she tells, or perhaps undergirding them, there’s the food. I love food; food is a hobby of mine. Not only do I watch a ton of Food Network, it guides our vacations. Have I told you this before?
When Curtis and I travel to a new city, we use TVFoodMaps.com to determine where we’ll eat. Our first trip to San Francisco, we carried a map, hand marked with 17 little x’s, and a key that told us which restaurant went with which x. It did not have any other landmarks on it.
And we were only there for 12 meals.
So I love food. And I loved how she wrote about food. I want to eat every recipe she included.
But there is one sticking point. I don’t cook. In fact, I hate to cook. I am as firmly committed to not cooking as Shauna seems to be to not baking (more on this in her essay “Things I Don’t Do” in Bittersweet.) So I needed something I could handle, which means something one bakes. Enter Breakfast Cookies.
Delicious. Chewy and biscuit-like, with some extra texture from the oats and walnuts. I love banana, but they weren’t super banana-y. Now, when I made mine, I modified them in a whole bunch of ways:
- I left out the coconut, because I don’t like it.
- I added back in the cinnamon, because I do.
- I didn’t put it chocolate, because we only had milk, which just was too far off the healthy theme.
- I used whole wheat flour instead of almond meal, because we don’t have gluten issues in our house/we don’t have almond meal/making almond meal sounds like a step in cooking.
I did not think they were quite sweet enough, breakfast be darned. So next time, I’m making sure we have the chocolate. Or I’ll add some brown sugar to it, and still leave out the chocolate or coconut. But there will certainly be a next time. And who knows? Maybe I will actually cook something from the book someday.
The Proper Way to Make Breakfast Cookies (sort of kind of what I did)
Combine wet ingredients:
- 3 large ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
- 1/4 olive oil (She recommends coconut oil first of all, though.)
- 1 t vanilla
Add combined dry ingredients:
- 2 c rolled oats
- 2/3 c almond meal
- 1 t baking powder
- 1/2 t salt
- 2/3 c shredded coconut
- 1/2 c chopped walnuts
- 1/4 c chocolate chips
Scoop onto a cookie sheet, flattening the tops a bit. Bake at 350 for 14-16 minutes.