Monday, February 13, 2012

You are a Food Artist, Tiffany! By Sophie L.

I smell the flowing scent of banana bread that comes directly up to my room and already know how it is going to taste. I go down to the kitchenette to check out what is going on, but the cook comes up to my room first and gives me a piece of banana bread. The usually dirty kitchenette in the girls’ dorm again blooms into a beautiful flower with the cook’s genius intimacy with the cooking world. It can only mean Tiffany W. is in the kitchen...

“Cooking and baking make sense to me. It’s not like chemistry or math, but cooking and baking are something I understand,” says Tiffany. While many teenagers spend their weekends shopping for cute clothes and shoes, she prefers her time in a fish market or local grocery stores for something delicious. “Instead of reading light novels or comics, I find pleasure in flipping through dictionary sized cookbooks,” smiles Tiffany. In the dorms on Friday nights, students usually watch Jersey Shore or movies in the common space, but when Tiffany shows up, the TV program naturally is changed to a cooking show. At grocery stores, I see other dormies hanging around at the snack section, but Tiffany hangs around at the vegetable, meat and fish, or baking sections.

“Cooking and baking easily affect people. They remind me, and perhaps others too, of our family, home, friends and childhood,” said Tiffany, in a deep appreciation. She went on to say, “Cooking is more stressful than, let’s say, painting, but the product smells and tastes better than acrylic paint.”

When Tiffany was busy with college applications, I once asked her what she wanted to major in. “Business and management”, she said. I was surprised by this answer because she studied and experimented in cooking and baking so much that almost everyone doubted the fact that she might not be a cook. “I have definitely thought of being a chef when I grow up, ever since 7th grade. I grew up watching cooking shows with my grandma,” said Tiffany. She learned almost everything from her nanny, Zeny, cookbooks, blogs, and videos on the Internet. I guess Tiffany is doing exactly what Zeny had done to Tiffany; making people smile.

“Being a chef,” sighed Tiffany, “It is a hard job. After working at the cafeteria and doing my Literary Journalism Project on a local cafe/bakery, and getting to know the people who are in this art, I’m not as certain as I was before.” I smiled when she called baking and cooking an art. Yes, Tiffany was a true artist. Although right now, she is worried about getting admitted to colleges to get a degree in business, she would definitely work part-time somewhere to get the experience. “It is true that I do not want to major in culinary studies, but it is something I love to do, and don’t think I’m going to stop anytime soon,” concluded Tiffany.

Of course Tiffany, who is just soaked into the world of cooking and baking, does not have a specific favorite recipe, but likes them all. She has been working on making a good banana bread recipe recently. Sometimes tons of loaves of bread are ready for the dormies for an afternoon snack. We all appreciate her enthusiasm in this area, and she graciously gives us her best (although she does not call it her best.)

Tiffany has also shared her Banana Bread recipe. Try it! She’s even included a “Dormie adaptation”—how to make banana bread in a mug in a microwave. Perfect for college!

Banana Bread Prototype:

¾ cup butter
3 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
6 super ripe bananas
16 oz sour cream or Greek yogurt <less fattening ;P
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp banana extract
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
3 tsp baking soda
4 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cake flour
Banana Nut Crunch cereal or sliced bananas (optional)
1.     325°F, grease loaf pans
2.     Microwave bananas on high for 5min, lid on
3.     Cream butter and sugar then mix in egg, sour cream, seasonings and extracts.
4.     Keep the banana liquid and drain bananas into the butter mixture.
5.     In a sauce pan and cook the banana liquid down into a thick sauce and pour into the butter mixture
6.     Dump all dry ingredients in and combine (don’t over mix)
7.     Divide into 2 loaf pans
8.     Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean
Or bake the banana bread the lazy way (dromie style)
1.     Place batter in a mug, half full
2.     Cover and microwave on high for 1min
Take cover off and microwave for another 1:30 to 2 minutes (depending on the size of the mug)

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