It has occurred to me lately that I might be in a bit of a rut. Even before this pandemic. Now I realize that those of you who only read this blog and not my “other” one don’t know all that much about me. So let me start by telling you that, while I don’t consider myself a creature of habit, I do have a few. Like breakfast. I eat yogurt for breakfast. Have been doing so for longer than I can remember. But it’s not like I eat the same yogurt everyday. I like lots of different flavours. And fruit. Sometimes I add fruit. Lately I’ve taken to making parfaits. Yogurt, fruit, a little granola, a bit of chia and flax, some honey. The whole kit and caboodle. I’m certainly aware there are other options for the first meal of the day, but I’m happy with my choice. So not really a rut. Just my choice. There’s a difference.
I suppose my movie watching has rut potential. Sure. I have a slight bias towards the Romcom. At least that’s apparently what Netflix thinks since it seems to me they have whittled down my recommendations to one category now. I admit. I’ve watched more than my share of Hallmark fluff. But why not? The thing is, once you’ve seen one you’ve really seen them all. I know that. I know there’s going to be a trip from the big city to the small hometown where the old flame still resides. That at some point the new guy will pale in comparison with the old one. That there will be a missed kiss before the sparks really fly which makes the realization that there is “no place like home” absolutely indisputable. I know all of that which means I can get a whole lot of other things done while keeping one eye on the telly. More of a timesaver and less of a rut if you ask me.
And it’s not because we have coffee everyday at 2:00 pm that makes me feel as though I could be in a rut. Seems to me it’s only natural to want a bit of a break in the afternoon. Since I rarely eat lunch (that’s rarely not never) I’m usually a little peckish right around mid-afternoon so a granola bar (I have several varieties) and a cuppa hits the spot. And now, due to the pandemic, we’ve actually experienced a seismic shift (and I use that term reluctantly living here on the west coast), moving our afternoon repast from the local cafe to our very own backyard. Where, if I do say so myself, no two days are the same. One day it’s a hummingbird bathing in the fountain, the next it’s a crow. I suppose due to the caffeine involvement this one could be considered a habit. But with all that wildlife action, certainly not a rut.
But here’s where I must concede. As I continue to bake and to write this baking blog it has occurred to me that I might be drifting into rut territory. You may not know this, and how would you, but I have baked way more than I have blogged mostly because, and this should go without saying, it’s much easier to bake than to blog. Besides, with baking I get to eat the results. A quick review of my endeavours over these past few months however, revealed a distinct pattern. It would seem that if I’m not baking muffins I’m baking loaves. Different muffins and different loaves, but no cookies, no cakes, no croissant, pies, cinnamon buns, bagels or pretty much anything else. Just muffins and loaves. Honestly, I have never in my entire life baked a cake which should not really be a surprise since, as you know, I never claimed to be a baker. I suppose I could surmise there’s some value in developing expertise in a particular genre. And I’m prepared to go with that excuse for my singularity. But I would like to try my hand at something else. So here’s my promise. For my next blog, or perhaps the one after that, I will bake something other than a loaf or muffins. For no other reason than to make sure I don’t fall completely into this rut.
In the meantime, my latest kick at the can. A zucchini carrot walnut loaf mostly because I had zucchinis and carrots that were either going to end up as a side dish or desert. I do have one admission to make. As you know, I normally follow recipes to the tee but I made a couple of changes to this one. Nothing drastic of course. First I went out on a limb and used my 8×4 loaf pan mostly because I like it more than my larger one but also because the author did suggest that the loaf is not very tall and personally, I like a taller loaf myself. Turned out not to be too tall in the smaller pan either. Second, I heeded the recipes’ advice and “watched my bread, not the clock” taking it out slightly before the stated 52-58 minutes. I must say that caused me some distress but it looked done and many, many jabs with a toothpick convinced me it was the right thing to do. Finally, and this was quite a leap for me, I substituted some of the all-purpose flour with Red Fife. Despite all of these changes, it was delish. And now that I think about it, maybe I’m not in a rut after all. And if I am, well so what!
The Recipe: Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 58 minutes
Additional time (what’s that?) 22 minutes; Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Me: Prep time: 43 minutes; Cook time: 50 minutes Total time: 1 hour and 37 minutes
Favourite thing about this recipe: Great way to get your daily veggie requirement
Least Favourite thing about this recipe: Grating carrots by hand
Lesson learned: Zucchini is way easier to grate by hand than carrots. Also, a little Red Fife never hurt anyone.