I remember when I was a kid how worried my mother was because her little girl refused to do anything in the kitchen. She used many different ways to drag me to the kitchen and helped her with cooking or baking. The more she forced me the more I rebelled against it. I found it not interesting at all, being in the kitchen. Little that she knows, little that I know that when I grew up, the story is completely different…
Being an Indonesian girl means from the early age you need to be familiar with household chores, including cooking. As a child I have no interest in this matter whatsoever. I refuse to be like other kids who helped their mother straight away from school. Instead I went on to do homework and other things related to books or creativity like drawing and shit, and let my mother worked her magic alone in the kitchen. I helped her more to washing dishes and sort, but not cooking, or baking. I was inside the kitchen though one time making my own steam cake. I was 7 and I was bored. Nobody was home and I found my mother’s magazine with a steam cake recipe on it. It look so nice with all those pastel colors. That one time in the kitchen was a medium success, but still since it has not really turned me into a kitchen enthusiast. This has been going on for years, resulted in me being labelled. ‘ Eve can’t cook’.
Fast forward years after, I can recall a few times in the kitchen that actually were a pleasant memory. There was this Christmas dinner with my whole family when I cooked almost everything but ordered the cake. There was one time when I, out of curiosity, baked a chiffon cake everyday for five days until I got it perfect. Another Christmas dinner when I cooked for my guests and baked my own brownie that I served with Vanilla ice cream. I slowly find my way into the kitchen, making it place to unleash my creative side. And since I was living alone, I always got the chance to tossed this and that, experimented with some ingredients,created meals for my self. Which resulted in me having another label from the family: ‘ Eve cooked weird stuffs’.
It is until I moved to another country that I actually spend more time in the kitchen. Everyday, in fact. First because getting food outside here is expensive and not all actually taste nice. Second and most important, the guy I married loves to cook. We are two different person with different interests in other things, but cooking is something that he and I can do together. We cooked our lunches everyday, and on the weekend we made special meals and sometimes baked. One of our favorite is this banana nut muffins.
There were time when we used to baked this every weekend. Sometimes we changed the variations too. But we always ended up making this version more because it is just simply delicious. I tried out few different recipes from different sources and sometimes modify it my own, until I found this banana nut muffins recipe by Tyler Florence that suited our taste really well. It is so moist, tender, and full of flavour. The mix of banana and nuts is definitely a killer combination for a sweet tooth. You can modify the ingredients all you wants. Change the flour, reduce the sugar, add more nuts, made your own topping, anything. We always reduce the sugar because the ripe bananas normally are sweet enough. One very nice tip though. My husband always caramelised the nuts, in this case, walnuts. It adds much more flavours to the muffins and this way you also do not need to use as much sugar.
Give it a try and enjoy your muffins!