Now that the dove wallhangings are finished, my friends have become busy with their new owl projects. I thoroughly enjoy being able to see them work on one of my designs… it is particularly fun to see how each one evolves differently.
Just to remind you, this is what the original design looks like (pattern here):
Susy is always the fastest worker in the group. She had to adapt the design, however, because she set the tree trunk smack in the middle and didn’t realize she wasn’t going to have enough space for one of the branches. Not only, that, she forgot to reverse the pattern, which is just fine by me. Everyone should feel free to adapt according to their needs. She also divided the tree in parts, so ended up pretty much adapting the whole tree. As she now has an extra branch, she is also going to add another owl or two to her project. This is her work so far:
Luchita works a little slower and does beautiful appliqué. Her stitches are tiny and absolutely perfect. Here is the beginning of her project:
My mom joined us for a little bit during our sewing circle this week. She came bearing gifts… a wonderful cake from a traditional Ecuadorian recipe. A little explanation is in order here… As you may (or may not) know, one of Ecuador’s most important exports is bananas. I haven’t been able to find the exact number, but one reference talks about 15 different varieties of bananas in Ecuador. So, as you can imagine, a lot of the local cuisine revolves around bananas. The photo below shows four types: green bananas or plantains (which we just call “verde”… mmmm, my favorite variety!), red bananas (guineo rojo), baby bananas (oritos) and the most common type of banana, easily available in markets all over the world and known as the Cavendish banana.
Now the cake my mother brought us is made with yeat another type of banana, that we know locally as the “maqueño.” It is naturally sweet and used cooked, not raw.
My Ecuadorian grandmother taught my mother how to make this cake, and it is a family favorite. I think that part of the secret is that she bakes it in a cast iron skillet. My son Jared has tried several times to reproduce this recipe in a regular cake pan, and claims it just doesn’t turn out the same. The recipe basically consists of the bananas, eggs, flour, and baking powder. She puts everything in the blender and pours it in the skillet and bakes it. Oh, yes, no sugar. The bananas are so sweet it isn’t needed. The resulting cake is very moist and spongy. Just melts in your mouth!
If by any chance you are able to find “maqueños” in your area and would like to try making this cake, leave me a comment and I will post the recipe. (-: