Thursday, October 3, 2013

Baking therapy

Since turmoil is raging across the airways regarding the government shutdown and I am already disgusted with the current political quagmire, I have retreated to the kitchen. I baked three loaves of Banana Nut Bread, two for snacking (since the first loaf disappears in a flash) and one for freezing. I am truly not a gourmet cook, even though I am somewhat of a foodie when I travel or eat out. I like solid comfort recipes that turn out reliably even with the tinkering I seem to do with every baking. My go to cookbook is an ancient, stained and falling apart copy of Betty Crocker's Cookbook.This is a basic cookbook, giving concise recipes, using simple ingredients and it also adds several recipe variations for those instances when a grocery store run is impractical. I have created many a Nut Bread over the years and this recipe is old reliable:

2-1/2 C all purpose flour (I substitute whole wheat flour for at least the 1/2C)
1/2 C white sugar
1/3 C pkd brown sugar
3-1/2 tsp baking Powder
1 tsp salt
3 TBsp canola oil
2/3 C milk (depending on how dry the mix, add up to 1/2 C)
1 large egg
1-1/4 C mashed, over-ripe bananas (approx. 3)
1 C chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350'
Grease or spray bottom of 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
Mix all ingredients well and pour into loaf pan. This recipe makes 1 loaf.
Bake 55 to 65 minutes until testing stick comes out clean.
Cool about 10 minutes in loaf pan before turning out to cool on a rack.
Cool completely before slicing. Wrap and refrigerate for up to a week.

So the family has been enjoying these yummy loaves plain, spread with butter, toasted and topped with cream cheese or peanut butter. As I sip my cup of tea with my slice of banana nut bread I consider my somewhat Freudian choice of baked good. The government is bananas and the rest of us are driven nuts. Guess I'm up for another cuppa and slice...

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