Saturday, July 19, 2008

Deep, Dark Secrets and the Experimental Loaf

Bananas have no future at Casa de Amanda. In fact, I would go so far as to say that my fruit basket is a banana bone yard -- they come here to die.

James wonders why I even buy bananas. We hardly ever eat them. Once upon a time, Bub was a banana connoisseur. Somewhere along the way, he changed his position on the potassium-packed fruit, but I just know one day that affinity will return and he will think to himself, "I'm looking for a healthy snack packed in slick, yellow skin." When that day comes, I'll be prepared.

Until then, I frequently watch bunches of bananas grow increasingly darker as they steadily approach their certain demise. And then I toss them out.

For someone who has any regard for the principles associated with frugality, for someone who prides herself on repurposing one thing to create something altogether new, the fact that I toss brown bananas has been a deep, dark source of secret shame. What about smoothies? What about puddings and custards? What about the reliable loaf of banana bread?

Banana Bread scares me.

Well, not the bread itself.
The act of making bread -- that's what scares me.

My friend Marcie is an excellent baker. She bakes as a form of stress relief, which really is win-win. (I mean, you bake, then you eat what you bake. I think that combination of activities guarantees better feelings.) More than once, though, I've dropped by her house only to be welcomed at the door with a glass of sweet tea and an admonition: "shhhh, be quiet, the dough is rising." Marcie, in her zone of creative release, caused me to shy away from the baking arts.

Mainly because I'm loud.

I had a bag of browning bananas on my counter this week. As I thought of tossing them, I decided it was a better idea to toss my irrational baking fears instead. I settled in to search one of my favorite online recipe sites, and found a recipe for this Quick Banana Bread for Machines. (I bought a bread machine after finding a recipe for pepperoni rolls, but then there was the yeast, and I was all afraid, so it's sat collecting dust now for weeks.)

Embarrassingly, the process of baking banana bread was little more than dumping a handful of ingredients into a pot along with the aforementioned brown bananas. The result: warm, yummy, crusty banana goodness. I feel so accomplished! I know I shouldn't officially call myself a baker, what with such reliance upon a machine, but I just have to share how thrilled I am to be able to make such good use of bananas gone bad.


9 comments:

  • Karen

    You are so funny...I have to admit that I too find myself continualy throwing away bananas too. For some reason I think there should always be bananas on hand even just in case :)

  • taralynn819

    We always have bananas, if no other fruit, in our house. I eat a half in the mornings on my english muffin w/ PB. Although, if I pick up one of the huge bunches they sell at BJ's I normally cannot keep up to eat them all in time, and so I average about a loaf of banana bread once every other week (usually a Sunday afternoon treat!). I'll give any excuse to bake, but any excuse NOT to cook! I use my mom's recipe, if you're interested. Although, most recipes for banana bread vary probably only slightly. I don't have a bread machine, though. Your loaf looks de-lish!!!

  • MJ

    Yea for you! I couldn't be more proud!

    Imagine my chagrin upon realizing that I caused you so much distress! :( Good thing you could overcome such an obstacle! ;)

  • Randi

    Yum ... I'll have to try that recipe. I became disenfranchised with my bread machine when we lived in Denver and the altitude would leave me with inch-high loaves of bread regardless of all my adjustments. Now that we're back (and have been for YEARS!) I'll have to get back into it.

  • Happy Mommy

    Girl I am just as loud as they come and I can bake up a storm! So sing yell and shout and bake all at the same time!

  • Randi

    I'm so bummed. I just started making the bread and my machine is too old ... no bake setting, just the regular mix and cook. I got the dough all mixed up and then realized I had to pop the whole thing in the oven.

  • Amanda

    Oh Randi -- What a disappointment, especially after all I imagine was was required to make such a discovery.

  • Elizabeth

    Yum! I'm going to have to try that!

  • Someone Being Me

    I am really bad about letting bananas get all mushy too. I typically end up making them into banana bread although I have never done it in my bread maker. I make this recipe (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Banana-Sour-Cream-Bread/Detail.aspx). I halve it and do one pan with nuts and one pan with chocolate chips. Yum!

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