I'm a little embarrassed to admit it but before doing a little research I seriously thought I would spend the year walking everywhere and imagined camels as the main form of transportation. In light of these thoughts I grabbed my backpack on a humid summer day and began my trek to the library. Imagine my surprise when I flipped through the books and realized that cars and buses were much more popular than camels. It was a long hot walk home from the library with a bag full of books.
I kept pinching myself on the flight over to Israel to make sure that it wasn't just a dream. I could hardly believe I actually would be living for a year in the same place where Jesus lived and where much of the Bibles stories took place.
That year will never be forgotten. I can still close my eyes and imagine the beautiful scenery where I lived. The Sea of Galilee was in my backyard and the Golan Heights were just across the street. Spending Easter at the Garden Tomb for the sunrise service, watching the sun set over the Mediterean sea, and walking the streets of Jerusalem are just a few of the incredible memories I treasure.
But mostly I treasure the day to day life I got to live. I loved living on a Kibbutz. There was something so fun about eating breakfast and lunch in the dining hall with everyone, working in the banana fields, gardens, kitchen or laundry. I loved going for runs around the Kibbutz, I got nick named "Energizer" since I was always quick to finish my lunch so I could get a run in before classes started. I loved the people I got to meet and share life with.
I think my favorite job was working in the banana fields. Until this experience I never knew how much work went into growing the perfect bananas. There were many steps that had to be done to produce the perfect bananas, and let me tell you that there was nothing sweeter or more wonderful than when you came across a ripe bunch of bananas when you were starving and worn out from working. Everyone would stop what they were doing and gather around for a nice little break. The truth is I have never found a banana in the States that can compare with a ripe banana picked right off the tree.
Funny how our mind works. I planned to just sit down and post a quick banana cake recipe on my blog and as I thought about bananas it lead me to think about all the bananas I ate in Israel and so that is why you got a little flashback memory of my adventures. Thanks for letting me share.
This banana cake will amaze you with how it literally melts in your mouth. I found the original recipe at http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2006/01/frosted-banana-cake.html#ixzz1FpCZzoIy.
It uses almond flour and just a small amount of rice flour. Also, I was able to cut the amount of sugar down to 1/3 cup making it a rather healthy dessert. Below is my revised recipe.
1 3/4 almond flour ( I buy mine at Trader Joe's)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cups brown sugar
4 medium (not too big) very ripe bananas, cut up and mashed into puree
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9 x 13" baking pan by lining it with greased parchment.
If you can't find almond flour you can process 1 1/2 cups of almonds in a food processor by pulsing on and off until a fine almond meal is formed.
Pour the almond flour into a dry mixing bowl, add in the rice flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices and whisk to combine.
In a clean mixing bowl beat the eggs; add the oil, honey, brown sugar, banana puree . Beat well.
Add the dry ingredients into the wet, and beat for two minutes.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake in a preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes until done. Served warm with a cup of tea is my favorite.