Sunday, October 17, 2010

Productive Day

I sat down to write, but before I even started, I got distracted. I was simply going to post about some recipes I baked with this afternoon, but when I searched my blog for one (I couldn’t remember if I posted it before or not) I came across this entry from about two years ago. I was in my first year as a stay at home mom, still somewhat confused, unbalanced, missing work, etc. but I was having one of those “THIS is why I quit” moments. This little flashback made me feel very good. For the record, I still miss working, I still miss the folks I used to work with… but I know that leaving was the right thing to do, for me yes, but more importantly, for my family. If you don’t feel like visiting my past, here’s a glimpse of why I was feeling validated that day…


Yea… being at the school, getting greeted like that. I needed it. My kiddo obviously did too! Tons and tons of these “little things” have come our way since I decided to stay home, and not just for me. Brad works, but that mythical concept of quality family time? Believe!!!

Anyway… where was I?? Banana bread! That’s it. Good stuff! I can’t find my recipe posted in the archives, so here it is, the recipe my family used for many, many years in order to cope with having overly prosperous banana trees in the backyard:

Banana Bread

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 whole eggs, beaten

3 whole bananas, smushed

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup minced nuts

1/4 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup maraschino cherries

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Add all other ingredients, mix well. Bake in two, medium sized, greased loaf pans at 325F for one hour.

So, what makes this recipe so good? Because it is so incredibly flexible! It tolerates ME, no matter how haphazard my cooking may be day to day. Don’t feel like putting the effort into warming the butter to room temperature so it creams properly with the sugar? That’s why we have microwaves! Are your eggs a bit puny? Add a third. Can’t wait for the bananas to get overly ripe? Go ahead and use them when they are bright yellow. Waited too long and half your bananas are too brown to use? Substitute some finely diced apples. When I was young we had trees with the small, fingerling bananas and we’d use 6 or 7 of those in the recipe, but changed it to 3 of the ‘regular’ sized bananas after leaving Florida. The recipe was still delicious. Nuts, chocolate, and cherries are also optional.

Today, I made this recipe with bananas and apple, no nuts, and instead of bread, I split the batter into two dozen muffins (used muffin papers). Baked at 375 for about 15-18 minutes. Mmm!

Since I was feeling so wild, carefree, and substitional… I went on to violate the vegetarian nature of Egyptian koshary. This (link) is a good basic recipe, but I tend to add more tomato sauce, garbanzo beans, and top with sauteed onions and garlic. Today, I also felt like meat. Not much meat, but for some reason, I felt that the tomato sauce HAD to have some ground beef in it. It turned out quite nicely.

Finally, the one recipe that I did NOT substitute with… well, I barely substituted, instead of raisins, I used a mix of raisins and sultanas, that hardly counts!… is this, Raisin Bread!!! I found the recipe on Cynthia’s Tastes Like Home blog. I enjoy reading her blog, then, bonus(!), you get to click over and read more at her actual recipe site. This recipe is still a work in progress tonight. The batter worked up nicely, the first rising went well, and it’s in the loaf pans, rising again, getting ready for the oven right now. I’ve never made raisin bread before and so far this has come along very well, and very easily!


Donna said...

Too funny - I made banana bread today too. And biscotti. Serving both tomorrow at 10 because I'm hosting playgroup. Stop by and try them! You don't even have to bring a kid - you can borrow mine!

Connie said...

It was a good day for banana bread! I'll try to stop in, I have some shopping to do, but should be done by 10.

Shannon said...

Thank you! I have a huge pile of slowly turning brown bananas in the kitchen that I need to do something with.

OK I have to ask why the name whale ears and other wonderings?

Connie said...

Heh heh... peer pressure... must. have. banana. bread. NOW! ;)

Shannon - the name came about as I was reflecting on how much I learn because of my kids. It may not always be new to me, but sometimes (often) they give me a whole new perspective - they find their answers in their own unique way, a different angle from which to look at the world.
Learning about whale ears, and whether or not other animals have ears, and then of course, so on and so on and so on... that's one of the many gifts my kids have given me, a good appreciation for the art of wondering.
Here's my first blog post, which is about their actual conversation on whale ears.... and just because it's dealing with another one of the crazy questions that my kids have brought up, here's another about Honor, then 4yo, and her brand of logic.

Emily said...

I love Banana Bread. So yummy, especially with chocolate chips.

I think the picture of Brian running toward you is just precious. Moments like those make staying at home a joy.

Connie said...

Emily - that photo makes my heart all smiley and happy! :)

Connie said...

UPDATE - the raisin bread turned out pretty good. The kids told me that I should have used more cinnamon and sugar because sultanas are not as sweet as raisins. I think they might be right! Raisins do get intensely sweet when cooked. Sigh... I suppose I *have* to make MORE raisin bread.

Becky said...

Your post has been included in the weekly State Department Blog Round Up

Thanks for your wonderful contribution!