I haven’t given you a recipe in a while. I haven’t give you a story in a while. I haven’t given you a rant.. uh, well, ok, it hasn’t been that long since I put up a rant. Anyway, here is a recipe, an honest to goodness recipe. But first!
Forget they exist for a few days. Tut tut as they ripen, uneaten. Watch anxiously as they go from a yellowish green to yellow, to yellow with spots to yellow with large black areas to almost black.
Listen to the party of the second part whine about your neglect of the fruit. What’s that? A recipe? Email it to me, then. I’ll see what I can do.
Run around to the grocery store. Possibly, like me, you don’t have baking soda or all-purpose flour in the house. ( While you’re there, pick up some yeast. If you’re buying that flour, you may as well make some bread later and not waste that flour. Right? Thinking ahead! Plan for the future! Go Green! Less visits to the grocery store! Reduce your carbon footprint! Winning! )
Unload all the bags. Read the recipe. Baking time 2.5 hours!
“What the hell? It’ll take forever now…. it’s so late! By the time it cools it will be past 11pm!”
Resign yourself to the task ahead and plug in the rarely used KitchenAid mixer.
Collect around you the following ingredients. ( Actually, you should do this before you plug the mixer in… still no harm done! )
3 medium, very ripe bananas ( see above? The darker the skin the better.)
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking soda
dash of salt ( I don’t know what dash meant, so I put in half a teaspoon )
Quarter cup of oil. I used corn oil.
1.5 cups flour. I used All-Purpose Flour. ( I’ve often wondered about the All-Purpose. I suppose they mean All-Baking/Cooking-Purpose? )
0.5 ( half ) a cup of buttermilk or sour milk ( I’m told you can make sour milk with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to half a cup of milk. I used store bought butter milk.)
Complain bitterly to everyone because you can’t find the batter beater or dough hook attachments for the mixer. Be directed to the pantry, which is the laundry room and requires a ladder to get to the shelves. Remember you took the ladder into the basement to change the light bulbs in the pot lights in your office. Curse (under your breath, of course), find a stool and take down the plastic bag that contains all the mixer attachments. Attach the batter beater ( say it out three times quickly!)
Bung the banana innards into the mixer’s bowl. Discard the blackened skin. I know I didn’t have to tell you that, but I used to be a programmer and learned early to declare everything explicitly.
Process for a bit until the bananas look pureed. You will end up with about a cup of banana puree. That’s an order!
Now add sugar, soda and salt and process another 30 seconds or so.
Add eggs and oil and blend it all in. Should be a quick one about 10-15 seconds.
Remember you forgot to pre-heat the oven. Wipe hands of egg, turn the oven on to get to 275F degrees.
Back to the mixer!
Put in flour, add buttermilk to the mush in the mixer bowl. Process until you get a smooth batter.
Find a loaf pan. Much banging and peering into cupboards later, find them under the range in that mysterious drawer.
The recipe I had called for a 9″ x 5″ pan. I eyeballed the various pans and picked the one most likely to be 9″ x 5″. I recommend getting a tape measure if you’re a stickler for sticking to the recipe.
Hunt for parchment paper. Discover that it does not exist where the aluminum foil and shrink wrap sits but in a different place entirely. Raise eyebrows and get on with it.
Line the pan with parchment paper. Butter the paper, basically the sides and bottom of the pan. If this hadn’t been my first time, I’d have lined the parchment a little better…. but never mind now.
Pour the batter into the pan. Discover that the spatula that you would use ( should use ) is missing. Make do with some other weird thing. Dump the mixer bowl and weird thing into sink. Hope that someone else will clean up.
By now the over has reached 275F. Put the pan on middle rack. 3 minutes into baking time realize you forgot to the put the walnuts in. ( Didn’t I mention I bought some halved walnuts while I was at the grocery store? )
Crush walnuts by hand, because, of course, you don’t own a mortar and pestle, despite repeated reminders and gentle nudgings. Take pan out, sprinkle walnuts on top, place the pan back in the oven.
Bake for about 2.41 – 2.5 hours. Check if loaf is done at 2.41 hours. Put a knife in. If it comes out clean, it’s done. While that happens you can loaf about.