Today was supposed to be my day.
F. left yesterday on a business trip. He is usually in charge of taking the children to kindergarden and daycare since I go to the office shortly after 7AM. Since I had some paid leave hours I had to use up by the end of the month before they expired, I decided I would drop the children at school and take a day off all for myself. This was a first in the five years I have been a mom.
I would take the kids to their classrooms, I would meet up with a friend for coffee in a café near school and have one of their amazing nutella croissants. I would then go to the Tuesday market 10 steps from my front door to buy large amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables, some mozzarella di bufala perhaps, maybe some olives from large overflowing buckets. I would then go home and have a few luxurious hours to cook something for my blog without any interference. I could even try something a little more complex and time consuming. I could take pictures in daylight, try to improve my technique. Then off to a sushi lunch with my friend and just a few more hours to get some things done in the house that I never get to do when the kids are running around. A quick trip to a neighborhood fabric store to pick up something to make with my daughter for her carnival costume and then off to pick up the kids early for once. The perfect day.
But as we all know, no plan is perfect, especially when it involves a mother with children younger than 20 taking a few hours for herself. Moms all over the world, you hear me, right? You know what I am talking about, don't you? Just thinking words as harmless as 'haircut' or 'manicure' or even just 'book' is asking for trouble. And so no sushi and Nutella for Mommy, no vegetables and fruit in the fridge, no time to finally make something a little more intriguing for you my friends...
In the middle of a thereafter sleepless night, my little boy got a fever. He is not sick enough (fortunately!) that he can't play, but just sick enough that he is whiney and clingy and needs constant entertainment. As I was writing the first paragraph (while he was suddenly - finally - incredibly busy playing with his car in the kitchen sink, standing on his Stokke chair), I turned to find him pouring dish soap all over the counters and floor and noticed some suspicious looking bubbles on his lips. I now write as he sleeps.
The result was moist, not overly sweet, with a slightly citrusy taste and a suttle yet distinct fruitiness from the olive oil. It is what I consider a perfect breakfast cake, or fitting to eat with a cup of tea on a rainy day with a sweet, feverish bundle asleep in your arms.
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
finely grated zest of a lemon (or an orange for a more delicate flavor)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used almost 2/3 to use up the tub)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil (the quality is key here, you don't want a bitter aftertaste)
a pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a loaf pan. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Zest your lemon and rub it into the cup of sugar in a separate bowl, using your fingers for maximum effect. Mix in the yogurt, eggs and vanilla. Then mix in the dry ingredients and fold in the olive oil using a spatula. Pour into loaf pan and bake in oven for 50-55 minutes (I took mine out a little earlier because I didn't want it to dry up too much and the edges were turning dark). Use the old toothpick trick. Let cool on rack.
Adapted from The Upper Oven.