When All is Crazy: Just Bake!

I am having one of those weeks where you’re constantly running behind on everything, every day.  You know the kind where Monday starts and your mind is still stuck on third gear on the past Saturday afternoon.

Therefore, I found myself yesterday morning with my son T.A. on the stepstool beside me in the kitchen as I threw several ingredients together to make a loaf and half dozen muffins of banana nut bread.

As we all have these crazy times, I wanted to share this wonderfully simple and tasty recipe with you all and offer some notes on how I’ve adapted it to my family’s specific tastes and such.

The main recipe is from a cookbook compilation called “Mountain Morsels” put together by the Ladies Night Circle of the First United Methodist Church in Ellijay, Georgia.  I found it after raiding through my family’s cookbook collection one day when I had ripening bananas and needed a quick little recipe ASAP.

BANANA BREAD

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Mash bananas in a bowl.  Sift flour, sugar, salt and baking soda together. Add to bananas.  (Add eggs.) If using nuts, add now. Stir well. Put in a buttered loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees.  By Minnie Waters

My notes:  This recipe is truly simple, so much so that it doesn’t give a time for how long you should leave your bread in the oven at 350 degrees.  On average my banana bread loaf will take 35-45 minutes or so.  If you decide to pour  your batter into muffin cups, it will take a shorter amount of time, like 20 min or so…my best test method is to pluck out a muffin and subsequently slice it in half and if it looks done I proceed to eat it!

As for the ingredients list in this recipe, let me offer my suggestions for substitutions or variations if you will:

  • Instead of 2 cups of plain flour, I like to use 1 cup of unbleached flour and 1 cup of whole wheat or wheat pastry flour to beef it up a bit.
  • Instead of 3/4 cups of sugar, I like to use about a half cup of honey or 1/4 cup of agave nectar.  I have yet to try Stevia, but I grow that particular plant/herb now so I’ll get back to you in future posts.
  • For the nuts category, I like to use crushed up pecans as they lend a sweeter flavor than walnuts, almonds are fine if you have no other nuts available–of course nuts are OPTIONAL.
  • Not mentioned in Ms. Waters’ recipe is my penchant for tossing a dash of ground cinnamon and cloves in my banana bread, it’s a spice combination that goes well with these flavors and if you like them in general you can have at it.
  • As a topping for ascetics, you can always sprinkle a combination of ground nuts and spices on the top of your bread before you put it in the oven or simple sprinkle some rolled oats on top.  This makes for a great presentation if you’re giving the loaf as a gift or for your coworkers feeding trough station in the office.

I hope your week is going as smooth as possible and if you do find yourself racing just to keep up with the pace of the workload of your daily routines, just remember that you can always just bake and at least enjoy a simple but delicious treat of choice that will help distract you from that unfinished “to-do” list.

RVSB

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