Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Banana Bread Story: An Ode To The Good Life... Yet Again

I stepped into the kitchen this morning to find a bunch of brown-spotted (clearly overripe) bananas sitting on the sill - Hmm, they definitely weren't there five minutes ago. Shihao (one of my two most awesome college roommates) responded, "I brought it out. They're too ripe, so let's turn them into banana bread tonight."

I just adore this Banana Banana Bread recipe from Shelly Albeluhn. It's superbly popular simply because it's effortless, and it works. Needless to say, we threw in some semi-sweet chocolate morsels since as we all know, chocolate and bananas are definitely best buds.
Shelly Albeluhn,
The Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
The Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended.
  4. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Before hitting the oven...

Oh. How. Glorious.

And that's basically one thing I love about baking: Converting overly ripe fruits into a sweetened pastry dessert (compotes, crumbles, muffins, jams... the list goes on). I mean, who would ever complain about a moist, dense, and freshly-baked loaf of bread filled with intense, fruity sweetness? Nope, I know I wouldn't.

This actually reminds me of how I was desperately craving for salad over lunch today. I never understood how people living in this country could ever 'grab' a mealtime salad on a borderline daily basis and feel satisfied with it. But contrary to (my) popular belief, the Americans actually do do salads outstandingly well. With the surprisingly endless array of toppings you can dress your leafy greens with - ranging from beets, asparagus tips and bulgar wheat, to cranberries, peaches and pineapples - I genuinely do look forward to eating my veggies... Well, I suppose when you're living in the absence of 24-hour kopitiams that whip up a whole spectrum of hawker fare to taunt your tastebuds, those salads of yours better taste pretty damn decent. Overripe bananas to banana bread, and boring leaves to fancy salads - as Daddy always say: "It's all about making the best with what you have."

Interesting Fact of The Day:
Coincidentally enough, my housemates and I were actually baking the same bread the same night one year ago while booking our Spring break trip to Vegas. And presently as I speak - or type - we just booked our 7-night Carnival cruise around the Caribbean. Departing from Miami, Florida this March (oh yeah!), and the ports of call? Half Moon Cay Bahamas, Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas, San Juan Puerto Rico, and Grand Turk Island. And to add a crimson cherry on top of an already all-star vacation, we're spending a night in Miami before setting sail. Yea-ah, tell me about it...!
So it's ode to the good life, once again, with a little slice of delish Banana Banana Bread, and a satisfying chomp! to yet another spectacular, fun-in-the-sun sojourn. I promise postcards from the Caribbean when I get there! XOXO!


Post a Comment