I hate to admit it, but I’ve finally come to accept that the season for tank tops, short skirts and flip-flops are now quite a shadow of the past.
While we’ve been spared from drab, grey skies that scream the arrival of winter (thank goodness not yet!), gone are the days of warmth and glorious 20-something degree Celsius weather.
Last weekend, strong winds swept through the city the entire Saturday, and when these relentless gales finally died down on Sunday night, a new phase officially installed itself.
One that calls for boots and leg-warmers, thicker jackets and woolen scarves. One that sees people stuff their hands into their pockets and bend their heads downwards in order to keep the cold away.
I finally had to dig around the back of my cupboard to pull out the warmer clothing, those pieces of clothing that had silently taken second place during the entire summer, and even during the first few weeks of autumn.
But now, as I reach for them, almost a month since autumn took center stage, pushing past the thinner shirts and shorts and dresses, I seek and find comfort in their woolen textures; their thickness no longer a bother as it was in summer, but a missed welcome.
The cold weather makes me feel more like staying at home instead of going out; and on days such as last Saturday, where strong winds and the deep chill makes you catch your breath, all I wish to do is be in comfortable clothes and to stay warm.
So baking has become quite good indoor activity on these days (which are becoming more and more frequent).
I crank on the oven even before the recipe says it is necessary, just because I like the warmth that emanates from the oven door. I find the slight whirring sound of my gas oven a familiar background noise and at times, good company. Call me weird but in my tiny two-square-meter kitchen, I feel pretty much at home and in happy spirits, especially when it’s just so darn cold outside.
Understandably so, I now try to find every possible excuse to bake; even when there isn’t much in my pantry except a half-empty packet of rolled oats and some overly ripe bananas.
I found the perfect reason to turn on my gas oven the other day; when despite a rather barren kitchen, I had just the right recipe to experiment with.
I’d seen Pure Ella’s two-ingredient cookies online not so long ago, and given that the only ingredients on the recipe were exactly what I had in my tiny kitchen, I dived head-first into making them. (I mean, two ingredients only? Wow, I definitely had to check that out!)
Ella’s recipe called for four bananas to every two cups of oatmeal, but I had only three bananas, and decided they would have to do. (That’s how desperate I was to bake, as you can tell).
It still surprises me how combining such few ingredients can result in something not only edible, but that actually tasted good.
This is a recipe that’s so quick and easy to make, and preparation time is a little as 10 minutes, with the only difficult thing to do being mashing the bananas. I wanted to add in a little more kick with some ground cinnamon, and after mixing the cinnamon and oats with the mashed bananas, all that was left to do was the form them into equal sized balls of dough and then flatten them out.
Instead of cookies though, I found that the texture was more like that of a scone, given its dense and chewy texture from the oats, perhaps due to the fact that I’d used three bananas instead of four.
But they tasted good even so. Since there was no extra sweetener added, these scones had the slight hint of sweet bananas without being overly sweet.
I had them with a glass of milk and they were delicious on their own. The second day, I tried them with a little bit of jam, and loved them even better like that. I definitely recommend trying the second option, especially if you want a bit more of sweetness on your scones.
How about you try them yourself and let me know which way you prefer? I’d love to know!
GLUTEN-FREE BANANA OATMEAL SCONES (Makes 18 scones)
Barely adapted from: Pure Ella
1) 2 cups of gluten-free rolled oats
2) 3 large ripe bananas
3) 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1) Mix ground cinnamon and oats together
2) Peel and then cut bananas into small pieces and then mash them with a fork (as well as you can)
3) Combine oats mixture with mashed bananas until you get a homogeneous scone dough
4) Pre-heat oven to 350 deg Fahrenheit (180 deg Cel)
5) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
6) Scoop one heaping tablespoon of dough and shape into a small ball, then place on baking sheet
7) Repeat the previous step until no more dough is left, making sure to leave at least two-fingers of space between each ball (you may need to spread them in two baking sheets)
8) Flatten the balls with the back of a wet spoon
9) Bake for 15 minutes or until a golden color appears
10) Remove from the oven and then allow scones to cool before serving
*Note: Because of the banana, there is a slight sweetness to the scones, and they can be eaten alone. However, if you’d like a little bit more of sweetness, you can also eat the scones spread with a little jam.