I was able to get Monday off because it’s a holiday, so I decided to go home for the weekend. I’m super excited that I was able to get this chance, since the next time I’ll be able to come home will be in August. When I go home, I usually end up baking far more than my family can eat. I also get a chance to run all of my favorite loops, which I could probably run with my eyes close at this point, having ran them hundreds, if not thousands of times. For some reason, no matter where I run, nothing compares to the routes I mapped out freshman year of high school. I know every turn, every hill, I know that a certain mail box means I’m a mile from home. These runs are beautiful, along my winding, farm-filled country road… and not to mention hilly. My favorite run is a 4 mile round-trip trek to the end of my road and back. It is pleasant for the first 2 ½ miles with small rolling hills, then its strait up hill for a half mile. At that point I start to feel tired, but there is still another mile til home. It the perfect length, nice and shady for most of the way, and I feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I make it home.
This weekend was also a chance for me to get some things I had left home, that I’ll need when I move into my apartment next weekend! First thing I needed was my cookbooks. For Christmas 2 years ago, Mark’s family got me 3 of the Moosewood cookbooks. I love them; let’s just say I have about 100 recipes I want to try. My other favorite right now is Mark Bitman’s Food Matters, if you have time this summer and care about where you food comes from, eating healthy and want flexible easy recipes, read this book. It discusses his new way of eating (hes a vegetarian until 6pm) and provides about 75 recipes, with countless variations listed at the end of each one.
I also got my recipe book. It’s a composition book filled with all of the recipes I’ve tried and love. I like to add notes, substitutions and also what I paired with each recipe with for future reference. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost it. It also doesn’t include the 30 plus pages I have saved in a word document on my computer (its more environmentally friendly)
I’m awfully glad to be home but back to the point of this post… 6 over ripe bananas that need to be used up. This sounded like a perfect excuse for me to make banana bread and to mess up the nice, clean kitchen.
Halfway though baking, my mom got home from church and saw the mess I had created. I responded to her shocked face, “I promise I’ll clean it up.” “Yeah, I’ve heard that one before, it’s nice to have you home, Mag,” she replied, knowing full well that my idea of cleaning up does not fall anywhere close to her standards. Needless to say, this classic banana bread recipe always comes out well, and gets even better then next day for breakfast with some coffee.
1 loaf, Serves 14, (if everyone eats only 1 slice… which is doubtful)
2 cups of flour*
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Dash of salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease or spray a 8 ½ X 4 ½ inch loaf pan
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each one. Add the banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. I just mash the bananas with my fingers. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients; beat at low speed just until moist. It’s best to add the flour in batches so it doesn’t go everywhere. Spoon the mixed batter into the greased pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
*(I like to use one cup of whole wheat and one cup of all purpose… I found not everyone loves whole wheat bread as much as I do, so this allows you to sneak in some whole wheat flour with out any one really noticing)
This recipe is adapted from Cooking Light Magazine