Thursday, July 26, 2007

Turning Bananas Into Banana Bread

Down here where the air is moist and trees wear moss like a necklace, summers are a lazy time. The hammock is the place to be with a tall glass of lemonade tea. All living creatures seek the cool shade of the Live Oaks and gentle breezes off lakes and bays. Standing in the kitchen, baking in front of a hot oven, is the last place anyone would want to be. But when there are six over-ripe bananas in the fruit bowl, something has to be done.
The favorite cookbook is carefully taken down off the shelf. It's yellowing pages are tearing away from the brittle plastic spiral binding. It holds the secrets to rich brownies, buttery pound cake, and nutty banana bread. The most used pages are easy to find as they're marked with drips and splashes from ancient baking sessions. Just opening the book brings back memories of family birthday dinners and cooking lessons for children standing on stools with Peter Rabbit aprons tied on.
Banana Bread
1 stick of butter
3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
3 bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in bananas. Sift flour, reserving 3 tablespoons, with soda. Fold flour in by hand in 3 equal additions. Add vanilla. Dredge pecans in reserved flour and fold into batter. Pour into well-greased and floured standard loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees for approx. 1 hour and 15 mins or 325 for 50 minutes on convection bake. Cool for ten minutes then run a knife between the pan and loaf and turn out onto a cutting board. Watch it disappear!

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