Should you ever need inspiration to cook, connect with community or remind yourself of the basis of life, find your local market. I make it my business to take regular trips, because I leave mine not only with a bounty of produce, but also with a prosperous soul.
To be amongst our food in its purest form, watch buyers make their selections with reverence and sellers deal in a rhythm that indicates years of involvement, creates an awareness of the essence of life unlike most other experiences. Regardless of age or background, we are people and we need good food. And to all present at the marketplace this is the shared value.
I know what I want, but I love to observe the selections of others. Sometimes I ask how they will prepare their unfamiliar purchases, and have found that people speak passionately about their methods. Observation is as rewarding as interaction at the market.
As we leave the market, trolley loaded, culinary inspired and economically satisfied, we know we are part of the population and (very thankfully) our place on the globe.
Inevitably though, with aspirations larger than realistic consumption, it is usual to be left with the ordeal of excess. Once family and neighbours have been exhausted with handouts, there is no other recourse than to cook. And as it so happened on our latest excursion, the contents of the tightly packed commercial banana box ripened quickly. An over-supply. So I turned to my good friend Delia who of course had the answer: a lovely Banana and Walnut loaf. The beauty of it lay not only in the demerara crunch topping, but the fact that the recipe calls for four bananas. In three loaves time, I was cheerfully a dozen bananas down.
This loaf is an absolute breeze to bake – and consume. Rather than me taking the credit, you can pay Delia a visit yourself here and she will pass her recipe on personally.
And so, the box is ready to be broken down now, only to make way I guess for the next windfall to be proudly marched home and stored in its place.
Postscript: and just knowing the market, that hive of energy and abundance is always there, provides a sense of security that as humans in 2014, we often overlook.