I get so caught up in nostalgia, I have a special loyalty to somehow represent a period of time that is long over. I don’t ever really “get over” things, I carry these memories like an emotional weight vest. Some are good, many are bad, it helps to have both to remember why the “good ones” were good, balance. I drank an entire french press of coffee just now and the caffeine is surging through my veins as I listen to the eerie carnival sound of “The Cure”. God I love youtube….I know there are better ways to listen to music, but I love how many of the videos are uploaded with a touch of why the uploader, published it. I want to know everything about why someone else feels love for the things I love, you figure they gotta have great taste! At least in one song. I have endless weird playlists of songs that represent my psyche, some are great, some are not, but each melodic entity helped form who I am in one way or another. Sometimes when I go down the youtube rabbit hole I rediscover songs, and that is always exciting because with the song comes a slew of memories…..sometimes I will put my prize on my list, unless it releases the memories that are too painful for daily air play, then I will listen to in once and work hard to try and forget it, but it’s inside and next time it finds it way into my ears, I will feel its presence along with the fluttery feeling inside my stomach and the related anxiety surge. At least I know i’m alive! Speaking of anxiety, when I get loads of it baking helps me relax, as do cleaning tasks, so I decided to clear my freezer out of over ripe bananas I save to make banana bread and make….BANANA BREAD! (cue trumpet playing out triumphant victory tune)
I can in no way, shape, or form take credit for the recipe. I do, like everything I cook, put my own spin on it. This is the recipe.
Flour’s Famous Banana bread:
1½ cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour instead, it was super tender)
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (I upped this to a full teaspoon)
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar(I just did 1 cup and then topped each loaf with a piece of fresh banana and sprinkled with turbinado sugar)
½ cup vegetable oil
3 ½ very ripe medium bananas (1 1/3 cups mashed)
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (I used macadamia nuts instead and added them to the top before baking along with some toasted coconut, turned out great!)
Heat the oven to 325ºF degrees. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment, beat the sugar and eggs on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. (Or whip by hand with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 8 minutes.)
With the mixer on low speed, slowly drizzle in the oil. Be sure NOT to pour the oil in all at once; add it slowly so that it has time to incorporate into the eggs and doesn’t deflate the air you’ve just beaten into the batter. This took about 1 minute.
Add the mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla and mix on low speed until just combined. Fold in the dry ingredients and nuts by hand until thoroughly combined, so there are no more flour streaks in the batter.
Pour the batter into a buttered 9×5-inch loaf pan and bake for 60 to 75 minutes, until the top of the banana bread is golden brown and springs back when you poke it in the middle. If your finger sinks when you poke it, it needs to bake a little longer. Let cool for at least 30 minutes and then pop out of the pan and serve. Keeps for 2 to 3 days at room temperature, tightly wrapped. Or store in the freezer, tightly wrapped in plastic, for up to 2 weeks and defrost overnight at room temperature.
This recipe is in weird in that, you make a sweet aioli with the eggs, sugar, and oil. I think that is the trick to its perfect texture. I used four smaller loaf tins, but if you use a large loaf pan just make sure you don’t under bake!!! Under cooking is the worst thing you can do to this and the only way it will be a disaster, besides burning it. I think this would bake up lovely as a layer cake alternating the tender cake with cream cheese frosting! A great base for seasonal fruit, like using berries since it’s summer. Or make it just how it is….you can’t lose and baking is good for stress levels! Happy baking!!!
Following your passions is essential to living life, but in order to do so you really have to throw insecurity out the window. Every time I do something that is overwhelmingly frightening, even if the end result isn’t what I hoped for, I always grow as a person. Personal growth isn’t this warm, fuzzy, opioid feeling…usually it’s more like this aggressive, anxious feeling that makes you check your prejudices at the door and see the world in a new way. In reality all the things we do are just a distraction from the true questions of the universe. Things are nice, acclaim is great, but like beauty it’s fleeting. If you are lucky you will end up wrinkled and wise, not botox-ed and silicon-ed, the goal of finding yourself is not something you can artificially achieve, its a journey that ends only when you die. Death is the great equalizer and doing whatever makes that knowledge tolerable is probably the best advice I feel there is. Don’t forget our mortality puts us all at the same level, those who have enough empathy to get over their own fragile egos are way more impressive to me than someone who owns a private jet. I do think self preservation is essential, but too much of it will leave you exactly where you began.
Speaking of distractions….who wants a cookie? This month’s degustabox was full of wonderful things. I used the King Arthur’s chocolate chip cookie mix to make cookie cups (just drop the dough into mini muffin pan and cook 12 minutes, after they are done use a spoon to press down the center) which I filled with nutella and M&M’s my son had a play date today so this made me look like the “coolest mom ever!” so using a shortcut here and there to achieve your goals is good! Especially when the shortcut is this cookie mix, which uses all natural high quality ingredients, I was totally impressed. I made an excellent tomato sauce with the Mutti sauce, and goya olive oil I received. We devoured the tasty “brownie batter” Thinsters….although I would recommend just calling them “brownie” as they are quite crisp so “batter” may not be the best way to describe them. The Karma wellness water reminded me of Japanese ramune sodas, only in the way you press the top to release the vitamins, it tasted slightly sweet which made it more like a soft drink than water per se, I am guessing I would need to drink more of this to experience the full benefit. I really enjoyed the Waffle Waffle, I heated mine up, and it was very tasty and done in traditional Belgian style, so it was chewier and denser than your run of the mill waffle. These products were the standout for me this month, happy cooking!!!