This is a slice of coconut bread, spread with Nutella. It is lying next to a pile of fabric I am about to start cutting into. I was spending the day sewing at The Workroom, a community of sewists in a lightly run-down part of Toronto named Parkdale, the part of town that most reminds me of Arcadia. I have been learning how to sew at this little shop, surrounded by women picking out fabric and piecing quilts and measuring their waists, and here is a secret I have not told anyone: that I am astounded at how comforting it is to be in such a space, to be learning a skill in the midst of all these women who have mastered it, in the midst of such strongly gendered generosity.
Back to the bread. It’s a Bill Granger recipe, originally via The Wednesday Chef (the community of women food bloggers, there’s another thing to write about; how their joy of life has made shit bearable for me, so often). It’s pretty easy to do first thing in the morning, if you feel like bringing still-warm loaves to a brunch date, and extra loaves freeze beautifully. The bread is moist, there’s just enough cinnamon to perk things up, just enough texture from the shredded coconut. I halve the sugar because I like to spread mine with Nutella while it’s still hot from the toaster, if I happen to eat it a few days after it’s been baked. This week we ate the leftovers with coffee every morning, still in bed. It felt pretty festive. That never hurts.