Jason’s work is bananas. His mornings on the run are bananas. His hours are bananas. The creative muscle of the team is bananas. Jason’s mustache is bananas! (picture of which he won’t let me post here, boo)
Last night was the first in weeks where we were able to sit down at the dining table and enjoy a meal together. There was plenty to enjoy; I made the quickest and the yummiest and the healthiest dish there is in the whole wide world – Grilled Salmon over Spinach Salad with Cranberries, Toasted Pecans, and Roasted Butternut Squash. To finish it off, I christened the plate with a beautiful green dressing – my Mustard Parsley Vinaigrette.
Since my BOO-BOO, my Honey-Poos, my Bubba has been chained to his office with thick and indestructible links of obligation and reliability (that are gazzillion times stronger than steel) for most of his waking hours a day, my motivation to cook has been rather flaccid. I made a pot of scrumptious Ribollita Soup with my homemade bread earlier this week, which lasted for FOUR DAYS (unheard of in this neck of the woods …in other circumstances). I’ve been also forced to finish off whatever leftovers were still stationed in the fridge, since me and waste don’t get along.
For three days I would also walk past a bunch of untouched bananas sitting on the kitchen counter and observing my every move in silence. I had no purpose for the guys, since Jason had been stripped of the time for his morning bowl of cereal with a sliced banana and a handful of blueberries. Each day I would notice the skin on the fruit turning one shade deeper from golden to brown, and the aroma of the bunch would chase me through the house.
“BASTA!” I exclaimed on Saturday morning at last. “I’m making a banana bread.” SWOOSH, I opened my laptop, CLICK-CLICK I typed on the keyboard and, HELLO! asked the Internet for the recipe. I liked the one on www.joyofbaking.com and decided to follow the steps. Ok, I would NOT be myself if I didn’t tweak it, just a tad. Below I’m describing in detail how I went from a bunch of ripe and smelly bananas to a FRAGRANT and GOLDEN BROWN luscious BANANA BREAD that is sweet really just a tiny bit and packed with nuts of all kinds. For your reference, here’s the link to the original and my nod of thanks to the author of that recipe.
And here’s Agi’s Way:
– 1.25 cups of toasted and chopped assorted nuts (walnuts, pecans, pine nuts)
– 1.25 cups of all-purpose unbleached flour
– 0.5 cup of whole wheat flour
– 0.5 dry cup of agave nectar
– 1 tsp of baking powder
– 0.5 tsp of baking soda
– 1 tsp of salt
– 1 tsp of cinnamon
– 0.5 tsp of cardamom
– 1 tsp of vanilla extract
– 2 large organic eggs
– 4 medium very ripe organic bananas
– 0.5 stick of butter, melted and cooled
Preheat the oven to 350°. Peel and mash your bananas in a bowl, add melted and cooled butter, agave nectar, vanilla extract, and mix it all. In a separate bowl crack open two eggs and beat them with a fork. Add the eggs to the banana mixture and set aside.
Sieve all the dry ingredients into another large bowl. Now gently fold the wet banana mixture into the dry ingredients. Don’t mix, just keep folding it in until all components are combined. You’ll see a chunky and thick batter and that’s what you’re after.
Scoop your forthcoming bread into a 9” x 4” loaf pan, previously greased with either butter or a non-stick spray, level out with your spatula, and put into the oven for about 55 minutes to an hour.
The bread will look like Jennifer Aniston’s post summer bod – golden brown and shiny. It will smell just as well. Be warned that you won’t be able to resist to not only inhale its fragrance, but also touch it tenderly all over its curves, lick it perhaps, slightly nibble on it, definitely kiss it, and inevitably TASTE it.
A slice of the BANANA BREAD toasted on a Sunday morning, then touched with organic butter and a drizzle of blueberry sauce, paired with a cup of freshly brewed coffee…. Oh, dear lord, my angel of prosperity, the spirit of my deceased grandmother who watches over me, I don’t believe I’ve been THAT good to deserve it all.
But if it’s already given… Thank you!
P.S. Mustache update: it’s been trimmed. Boo.