Saturday, August 18, 2007
A hippie grocery store three blocks from my house has this policy of putting extra-ripe produce in large bags, which sell for a dollar. Yesterday it was bananas. I made another loaf of banana-rescue bread (this time with two absolutely oozy bananas and only one egg, and raisins because I was bored). I just so happened to be making peanut butter truffles this morning and, as usual, found myself with some leftover tempered chocolate. I broke bananas in marshmallow-sized pieces and dipped them. The result has the same textural appeal of a chocolate covered marshmallow -- what with the chocolate shell collapsing inward on the soft, slightly springy interior when you bite down -- minus all the "I'm a disgusting bit of extruded sugar, gelatin, and preservatives" nonsense that marshmallows are in the habit of yelling at you.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Yeast makes little volcanoes in my tummy. So I suppress my ancestral baking instincts and do the quick-leavened ones, which aren't as satisfying as organism-risen breads, but have a couple other advantages, like efficiency and muffin-ness. I did throw together a nice little banana bread the other day, when I realized my housemates really weren't going to eat the blackened fruit -- and I am proud to report that after three days, the reincarnated banana/bread has resisted the slow, dry death of most quick breads. Creamed a chunk (half a fist) of coconut oil with a similar volume each of agave nectar and ground flax. In another bowl, I mashed the rescued banana and blended it with 3 eggs and a generous splash of vanilla. I dumped the two bowls together and used the empty one to mix a fist or two of spelt flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, and a lot of salt, which then got tossed into the liquids and stirred together with a few swift strokes and half a fist of chopped walnuts. And honestly, when you've got that much flax meal and whole-grainy stuff in your quick breads or muffins, you can ignore the conventional caveats against overmixing. Not that they require lots of mixing, but you needn't pee your pretty panties if you lose count of your strokes. One greased loaf pan and a 350-degree oven till it's done. Which is about the time it takes to pack a lunch and have half a good phone call, during which your friend mentions the word "oven" and you yell like a banshee and race for the kitchen to find your banana-rescue bread is perfectly done. Eat a slice right then; your friend won't hear you slobbermunching if you're careful.