I find love in the little things.
It’s in little notes left on windshields, a small gesture to get hair out of a face, a snack ready-made when an arrival is imminent.
This year, as in every year we’ve been together, Boy declared that we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s commercial and too mushy for him. (He’s not super in-touch with his emotions. He’s known to crack jokes at the points in romantic comedies when I begin crying. I’ve been known to give him a solid punch in the side for doing so.)
So maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t seen him in days due to a snowboarding trip to Vermont, or maybe he decided we do kinda celebrate it, but he showed up last night with a plant. As in, a potted plant, “because you can watch a bouquet of flowers die, or you can watch the plant live!” (His words.)
That’s it. It’s huge. Beautiful, but huge. And kinda reminds me of the love fern from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. But it was thoughtful of him and I love it.
What did I have in return for him?
A slice of this bread with a thin coating of peanut butter on top.
We had plans to make dinner together but on the phone prior to his arrival he noted his current state of starvation. I knew just what to do. I had made this bread over the weekend while he was gone and knew he would love it. The bread is faintly sweet, dotted with the chunks of Granny Smith apples, and finished with a sugary topping. With a bit of peanut butter spread on top, it’s a little slice of heaven. The perfect snack.
The perfect little thing to show him I was listening and I cared.
(He obviously scarfed it down, barely mumbled a Thank You, and we went about our business but I know somewhere in the depths of his mind he understood.)
Makes 1 4×8″ loaf.
- 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 c vegetable oil
- 1/4 c applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 c granulated sugar
- 2 apples, peeled and chopped (Granny Smith recommended)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 4×8″ loaf pan and line with parchment. Set aside.
For loaf, In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat eggs. Add in oil, applesauce, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add sugar and mix until combined. On low, add in the flour mixture and, careful not to overmix, mix until just combined. Fold in the apples with a rubber spatula. Pour batter into prepared pan.
For topping, Mix sugars and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over batter in pan.
Bake 50-55 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning the loaf out onto a cooling rack.
How was your Valentine’s Day?