I dwell in an aversion to Valentine’s Day camp. Admitting this feels wrong and unromantic. My disdain isn’t really about the common complaint that love should be celebrated every day rather than just on one or by sending flowers, candy and cards. Without getting too dramatic, it’s more about the pressure to be happy when perhaps I’m not, feeling lonely and let down if I don’t have a valentine, and associated unpleasant memories. But even with these extremely negative thoughts, the idea still holds a tender place in my heart. The New York Times Cooking email that I receive almost daily recommends cooking at home for those you love this year rather than eating out and I love that. Baking inspiration flood social media feeds and websites I follow. Delicious looking chocolate raspberry or red velvet or hibiscus or rose flavored treats spread a kind of love that baking does like nothing else. What is not to love about that? Baking and my children make wonderful sweethearts.
I was working on my own valentine-ish creations but they still need help, so instead I pulled out an old notecard recipe copied from my mom for something I absolutely know will be delicious. I altered this banana bread a bit to make it gluten-free because my daughter likes to eat that way and added more spice to warm it up for extra love twist. There’s no red or pink, but there is chocolate inside and it will be filled with love and made with a warm heart.
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