This recipe is vegan purely out of not having any eggs or butter and being too lazy to go to the supermarket to re-stock. Faced with the decision of going to the shop 100m down the road or continue with my baking adventures, I chose the latter and justified it by saying it would be healthier for us anyway. I looked for vegan banana bread recipes on the but I didn’t have egg substitute or applesauce. So I came up with my own substitutes swearing that if it worked it would be a miracle and I would have to post it. And the result was a very moist (almost too moist), yummy bread and here’s the random recipe for you to try.
It wasn’t until January this year that I heard about Burns’ night and of Robert Burns, the famous Scottish poet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Burns). For those of you who are blinking now like I did when I first heard of it, here’s a little spiel about Robbie Burns. He is Scotland’s most famous poet know for several popular songs including “Auld Lang Syne” which is often sung at midnight on New Year’s Day. He was also known for his many love affairs some of which he captured in his poetry. Robbie Burns is the most popular of poets who wrote in the Scots’ language. As it seems to happen with a lot of famous people, Robbie passed away at the not-so-old age of 37 after several months of deteriorating health and mental state. It was a few years after his death that some of his friends got together and started celebrating his life and work in what is today called “Burns’ night’.
In several places around the UK, Burns’ night dinners are organised with great enthusiasm. They feature a Scottish menu of Haggis (the vegetarian version is also available), broth, a dessert known as Cranachan and tastings of Scotch whiskey. The Haggis is often ushered in by Scottish men in clan kilts with the song “Ode to the Haggis” being played on bagpipes. This song too as one of Robbie Burns’ pieces. After stuffing yourself full of food and drink, you are challenged to take part in Céilidh (pronounced : Kay-lee) dancing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C3%A9ilidh) which I highly recommend.
Overall Burns’ night’s dinners are a lot of fun and hope this recipe will give you a tiny feel for it. The original Cranachan is made of thick double cream but I used Greek Yoghurt instead.
Last week, I acquired a bottle of red gooseberry jam from a colleague at work. I’d never seen/heard of or tasted red gooseberry before. Growing up in India, I’d seen and bitten into green gooseberries with my childhood friends. These berries called “Nelli-kai” in Kannada would make us all screw our faces into a knot as the sourness stung the backs of our mouths. However, mum would turn them into a wonderfully spicy Indian pickle with chilli and mustard and fenugreek and that’s the only form I’d eaten and liked it in. I thought it was time to give this other kind of gooseberry a try.