Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Banana Bread

We never had banana bread growing up. If the fruit or vegetable wasn't grown in our garden, it never graced the kitchen table. Apparently, Iowa is the wrong climate for growing bananas. In my adulthood, bananas were purchased and eaten quickly. Until B left for college a few months ago, I was buying 2-3 bunches per week. They never seemed to stay around long enough to turn brown with the tiny giraffe spots, making them sweet and ideal for banana bread.
In the weeks after B (the family banana eater) left, I struggled making the necessary adjustments at the grocery store and during meal prep. We endured a lot of leftovers throughout September, and I have had plenty of bananas to try out a variety of banana bread recipes. In my quest, I turned where I normally turn- to my sisters. My eldest sister has a great recipe. In fact, I had banana bread for the first time in my adulthood at her home. I was reluctant to try it. But after my first slice, I kept returning to the loaf, hoping nobody noticed my over indulgence through a house full of kids and company. Her recipe is great, however, another sister introduced me to the hearty wholesome Williams-Sonoma recipe. I've tweaked it a little, and have used it ever since:

Banana Bread

2 large ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
6 T soft butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Mash bananas. They should total about 1 1/3 cups. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl (except for brown sugar). Mix wet ingredients together with brown sugar. Add bananas. Stir in dry ingredients. Don't over mix. Fold in walnuts.
Bake 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees.

In a few days, I will head out for my weekly grocery shopping venture. I will get to buy bananas in bunches because my banana eater will soon return from college for Christmas break. And- because it's the simple things in life, that seem to bring great joy; in anticipation of B's arrival, I will take great delight in that grocery trip!

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