Because, let’s face it, everyday during a global pandemic is an adventure. My family is in so many ways very, VERY fortunate right now. We are painfully aware of that. We all telework, we’ve been farm-to-table for a while, so no food shortages or grocery stores for us. The local convenience store even started carrying fresh produce, we have a garden, and our own land. So other than WAY too much family time, nothing has really changed. Just some soul crushing boredom, that is. I swear I’ve read more books in the last six weeks than when getting my masters in English.
So like everyone else on the planet (based on following the #quarantinecuisine hashtag on Instagram) we have been doing a crazy amount of cooking. After just about every dish my husband or daughter says something to the effect of “you should blog this” and I say something to the effect of “that sounds like a lot of work…” and it never gets done.
There may come a day when I choose to blog, but it is not this day. Oh, wait. Yes it is. Total nerd points if you get the reference I was going for there. So I could blog about all the new and fun things I did with morels this spring, since I flatly refuse to fry them. I’ll probably get to that later. I could blog about sour dough starter like everyone else. I might. Eventually. I’ve made some ass kicking strawberry and mixed-berry jam. Eh. I might get to that. I have to do a lot of algebra for carbs and calories and just ehhhhhh…..
No, today I’m going to blog about what happens in a quarantine when you want to make something, don’t have what you need and throw caution to the wind and wing it. I am writing about the banana bread that almost was and the bread it came to be.
So, bananas. Not a lot of shelf life. Total impulse buy from the convenience store. Thought for sure someone would eat them. Turns out that some things stay the same pandemic, or no. You can buy the bananas but no matter how many you buy, no one is going to eat the last two.
People ate a couple and the last two sat there, getting riper by the day, while “we are the world” and memories of my 4th grade’s donation drive for the Ethiopian famine ran comingled in my head with my dead father’s voice that people were literally starving while I was letting good food go to waste. Telling my dead father’s voice in my head to shut up, the good food is for sure going to WAIST didn’t help. It made me feel worse, actually.
So I decided to be utterly basic and make banana bread. I have this awesome organic ancient grain Einkorn flour from a relatively local, organic farm to mill (they ship, check them out) to table company, so I was NOT going to let those last two black and squishy bananas be a loss. No way. So I put my heathen offspring on sourcing a recipe and started to mise en poise the ingredients as she called them out.
Everything was fine until the bananas totally let me down. This is all for you and you’re going to do me like this? You need to be 3 cups… WHY U NO 3 CUPS?!?!? Ok, fine. What are you? WHAT? ONE FREAKING CUP?!?!? WHAT THE EFFFFFF.. Ok. Fine. Alright. Let’s make this work. So what do I have? 3/4 cup of golden raisins. 3/4 cup of regular raisins. STILL NOT 3 CUPS. SON OF A BIIIIIIII….. Ok.*Rummages around* Slivered almonds. You know, WTH not. It’s 3 cups. 3 cups of dry and it needs to be moist… eyes fall on half cup of sour dough starter discard…. YEEEEESSSSSSSS… That will do. That will do nicely, and solves two problems at the same time. Excellent. This is starting to come together!!
So here we go, the Adventure Bread recipe.
Pre-heat your oven to 325°
1 cup brown sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft.
2 large eggs
1 cup ripe banana
¾ cup golden raisins
¾ cup raisins
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup sour dough starter discard
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups Einkorn flour (Janie’s Mill is awesome!)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
If you don’t have a Kitchenaid mixer do the best you can with a hand mixer. Kitchenaid mixers make things a whole lot easier. Just saying.
- Oil a loaf pan. Butter, coconut, olive oil, ghee. Whatever.
- Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl. I think it was too hot because mine never got fluffy, in fact it kind of seprated and looked gross.
- Add the eggs one at a time
- In a small bowl, mahsh the bananas with a fork. Mix in the milk, raisins, nuts, sour dough starter and spices.
- In another bowl, mix together the dry goods.
- Add the banana mixture to the butter & sugar and stir until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients, stopping to scrape the sides down often.
- Scrape and pat the edible spackle into the loaf pan and sprinkle the top with brown sugar, spices, a dash of molasses… whatever makes you happy.
Bake at least an hour and then begin the ‘toothpick poking every 10 minutes’ dance until it comes out clean. There was a lot of stabbing since I had no idea what was chemically happening.
- Let it sit about 15 minutes after removing, knife around the pan and flip onto a cooling rack. Smash at your leasure.
So of COURSE I didn’t take photos during like I would any other flipping time because that would make too much sense. All I have is an after photo and memories because it was not around very long. Not too sweet, hint of banana, but also cinnemon raisin bread, nice crumb, delish! Making it was an adventure so that’s what I’m calling it. Hope everyone is safe out there and let me know if you make an adventure bread of your own.