“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
– Howard Thurman
Have you ever seen a ballerina dancing on stage, her every move in sync with the music, every strain of muscle responding to the tunes in complete coordination?
Have you ever listened to a pianist seated at the grand piano, playing a song so beautiful it could make you cry – and felt your heart beating with the rhythm of each note?
Or have you ever read a book and fallen so deeply in love with its characters, each chapter drawing you closer into the story, and felt so profoundly involved that you just couldn’t tear yourself away from it?
The thing each of these scenarios have in common is this – that the creator of each piece of art – be it a dance, a melody or a novel – has thrown himself fully into the creation of his work, and the intensity with which he comes alive doing so shines through like brilliant sunshine piercing through thick, grey clouds.
Quite often I ask myself what I would love to do – what I would spend every single day doing and not get tired of. To be precise, the question I try to answer is this – “What makes me come alive?” – as Howard Thurman wisely suggested.
I came across Thurman’s quote last week, in a very timely fashion – just as this humble blog of mine turns three.
I had to blink a couple of times just after typing out the previous sentence.
How on earth did this space, a tiny little food blog, turn three years old? How did more than 1,000 days fly past, each of the 156 weeks resulting in at least one post per week? How did I first begin typing recipes into WordPress, week after week, until this space finally evolved to be what it is today?
If there is anything that the past three years of constant posting on this blog has proven, it is this – that this activity called food blogging is what makes me come alive.
In celebration of turning three (hip, hip, hurray!), I wanted to pen a couple of thoughts on blogging, and what the journey has been like so far.
To be honest, food blogging isn’t all just cooking, eating and snapping a couple of photos. It takes patience and effort and consistency, a combination of elements that is crucial if you’re thinking of staying in food blogging for the long haul.
Sometimes, when it seems that I’m writing to the wall, when it appears that no one is commenting on the posts I have spent hours writing (except for my dear sweet mum), or when it just feels like the blog has come to a stagnant plateau, it’s hard to be motivated to keep on showing up.
Some days, when resistance is stronger than my willpower, and I force myself to sit down and write out of sheer mental strength, food blogging doesn’t seem as fun as it did when I first started out.
Yet when I finally do kick resistance in the butt and have spent the time writing and editing both post and photos, when the work is done and when it is in front of me, I feel accomplished. I feel like a champion when the work is finished and I can proudly say that I did it, and it is when I realize – “This is what makes me come alive.”
I believe that a successful food blog, just like any other project, is not created on overnight success, but rather, like any construction project, it is built brick by brick, one brick at a time.
It requires having a vision of the future, a goal in mind, one that doesn’t waver with time. Each recipe and each post add a bit of value to the overall project, and it is the sum of all the parts (both tiny and large) – that contributes to the eventual success.
And so, here I am, three years into blogging, with plenty more to go (I hope!), and I’m focused on building this blog one brick at a time, one post at a time, and one recipe at a time.
Let’s mark this special third birthday with a deliciously moist banana bread – one that makes your mouth water with delight.
It’s a recipe so ridiculously simple, you could prepare the batter in less than ten minutes, and have the bread ready and out of the oven in less than an hour.
This will leave your house wafting in its fragrant aroma, and when you slice it, you get thick, moist pieces. I recommend you eating it slightly toasted, drizzled in honey or maple syrup and topped with freshly-sliced bananas. The perfect celebration.
Oh yes, one more very important thing.
To everyone of you who reads this blog, who shares it with their friends, who comments or simply observes. Thanks to each and every single one of you. I am beyond grateful for your support. Words cannot express the depth of gratitude I feel. Thank you.
- 3 ripe, medium bananas
- 1½ cup of raw cashew nuts
- 2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup almond meal/ almond flour (or ¾ cup raw almonds)
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup of sliced bananas, for topping
- Honey or maple syrup, for topping
- Pre-heat oven to 375 deg Fahrenheit (190 deg Cel)
- Grease a medium-sized loaf pan with some coconut oil, and line with baking paper
- Grind cashew nuts in a food processor or blender until you get a fine cashew meal
- Add melted butter of coconut oil to the cashew meal while processor is still on until you get a cashew butter
- Peel bananas break them up into smaller pieces, and add to the food processor with the cashew meal, and process until you get a liquid paste
- Add almond meal/flour, baking powder, honey, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon and salt and process a bit more until you attain a homogeneous batter
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, and bake in oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean
- Let bread cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pan and slicing into pieces.
- Serve banana bread with sliced bananas and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.