WN28 Banana Bread

Sophia made a pistachio cake a couple of weeks, and it was really good. I’d forgot baking was a thing, so I’ve been trying my hand.

Looking to make something heartier, I picked up some wholemeal spelt flour. So far I’ve made a mixed-grain soda bread, which was ok, and banana bread with it. The banana bread came out great! I wanted something a little less sweet than the pistachio cake, or what the recipes I was seeing. The proportions below are half intentional and half what we had in the pantry.

Next on the list is muffins.

Banana Bread

  • 100g dark muscovado sugar
  • 55g butter
  • 4 medium bananas, mashed (I used organic, they’re a more consistent size)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 70g broken walnuts
  • 60ml Greek yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Melt the butter, and mix in the sugar until it becomes a paste. Then add the eggs and yoghurt, salt, cinnamon, vanilla extract and bicarb.

Then, mix in the flour with a spoon and stir gently. When the flour looks like the lightest dusting fold in the nuts and give it one last stir. Transfer to a greased loaf tin.

Bake at 180C for and hour and twenty. Enjoy!

📍Point on the timeline

  • The world is waking up. We are planning on moving this year and suddenly there we’re seeing some nice places. Time for viewings.
  • Team buy-in on migrating data via the back door.

WN27

Slowly pushing these later and later. I was blocking out time on Sundays to write the first Weeknotes ahead. I’ve since weaved some other creative projects into my week, and I’ve been spending that time on those projects. So, writing Weeknotes has fallen into the cracks.

I’m slowly growing a roster of things that I could write about. But not giving myself the space to fully explore those ideas. So, expect some shorter updates before longer ones.

📍Point on the timeline

  • Joined a Robert Anton Wilson book club recently. This week we had a discussion about how different our perspectives of a room is doing it over video chat. And, Oscar Wilde’s quote “All art is quite useless”. Great fun!
  • Making music without an artificial constraint! Yep. Also, updating software and moving things around.
  • I don’t usually watch office romances, but when I do they get weird! Behind Her Eyes is worth a watch. A bit far-fetched by the end, but the portrayal of the single-mother lead is great.
  • That “this changes everything” project in the middle of our replatforming looks likely. We’re looking at the risks and the impact on the project, but I’m actually glad for a hard deadline. We’re going to to be making some strategic trade-offs, instead of picking one story over another. I went back to the drawing board on this one. One carefully placed hack could turn the tension into synergy. We might be trading-off some finesse with the rollout, but we can hold ourselves to cleaning it up on the backend.

WN26 Superskirmish Finish

That’s it February Album Writing Month over! In the end I published eight tracks, and 18 minutes of demos. Not bad considering how patchy my time commitment was, and that I started a week late.

On Sunday, I did a superskirmish for half that track count. In FAWM parlance, a skirmish is a one hour challenge with a prompt. It’s a tight timeline, but it’s possible to get a sketch down in that time. The community sometimes runs them back to back, an hour on an hour off, pick and choose.

I’m feeling much better about my output after that, and I might experiment with the format in the future. Having a prompt and a time-box helped a lot with inertia.

Now to keep going

After the last two years, I burnt myself out in FAWM. My creative output basically stopped. Last year, less so but I didn’t keep any sort of focus or output.

Without the arbitrary constraint of a community project, what now? Specifically, what next?

Writing quick and getting a collection of demos might be the thing to do. Genres to explore, sounds to design. But there a satisfaction to getting something done, maybe showing it to a friend. Like weeknotes, cadence may be the place to start.

I signed up to Beeminder, after reading Andy Matuschak on the granularity of habit tracking. I have a modest songwriting time goal, which I exceeded in February. And, I have a time block in my calendar for it.

Of course, I’ll be tracking the time I spend, rather than the time I plan. I’m also collecting some ideas of things I may like to write about that have more of a personal flavour to them. Ship a thing a week? Could do, but I’m not going to get that specific right now.

Ayurveda and diet

We’ve spent the past couple of weeks sorting out our diet. I mentioned that cooking was one of the things that slipped over January. And, there were bad habits we carried over from last year. Now, I’ve put my secret cookie addiction to the side and we’ve cooked some good meals from scratch.

And I’ve sort of fallen down a rabbit hole with how Ayurveda thinks about diet. There’s much more to the practice than diet alone, but its a foundational part of health in the system. Different constitutional types lead to different favourable foods for different people. And how you’re feeling right now plays a huge part.

So, I spent time that I could have spent songwriting reading. Oh no! And, cooking good meals has rewarded me with higher energy levels. Along with less snacking, and keeping more consistent hours, which is also suggested. Yoga too, and it’s a reminder to get back on the wagon for meditation.

Here are some of the things we’ve cooked:

We’ve had more vegetarian meals as a by-product, which has been nice. We’re not being strict about the principles. Considering whether a dish is better or worse has been interesting.

I feel like we’re at an inflection point of novelty. Going to stick at this experiment a couple weeks longer. Growing a pool of good recipes is always nice.