Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Is That a Banana in Your Pocket?

I have decided that food knows no season - just because it's July is no reason to say that making a pumpkin pie is ridiculous....your MOM is ridiculous. Yes, having certain foods at specific times of the year might make them more special, but they also make you want to eat so much of it because it's going to be another 364 days before it crosses your path again that it makes you so sick of it you don't care it's only there once a year. Where's the fun in that? I say whip up a batch of divinity in August....BBQ ribs and baked beans in February, and banana bread once a month - you know there are always a couple black ones lying around creating a colony of fruit flies, so you might as well use them to your advantage.

My personal food seasons are as follows:

January: New Year's Eve Asian buffet. All homemade, all delicious and I count it as January because that's when the calories actually take hold in the form of cellulite on my hindquarters.

February: Valentines Day romantic dinner for two. Also homemade because I hate going to restaurants on a day when everyone else is there, and if I do it at home I get a GREAT tip.

April: Easter. Turkey, ham, all the trimmings and baskets full of candy...that and Polish Dish with some kind of sweet offering for breakfast and you'll be in a food coma until the next food season.

May: AnnivirthdayPalooza. Handsome Stranger's birthday is the 26th, mine the 28th, our lovely daughters is the 25th, and our anniversary is on the 26th so HS would have trouble forgetting. Cake, cake and more cake, plus the obligatory anniversary dinner and we can gain a dozen pounds in the span of only 4 days. But what a way to go.

July: Independence from hunger. Yeah, yeah, yeah....you know it's really about the BBQ so don't be calling me unpatriotic. I will fight for my right to eat red and blue jello with non-dairy whip.

September: Labor Day. In honor of the type of pains we will have after yet another gut-busting BBQ meant to signal the final throes of summer and Jimmy Hoffa's birthday or something.

October: Halloween. Candy. Period.

November: Thanksgiving. As in thanks for all we stole from the Native Americans just because we were big bullies and wanted it....but now we are fatter and slower and if they ever decided to rise up against us and take back what was rightfully theirs we would probably hand over the remote for a handful of skittles and a bag of Artisan Roasted Garlic and Black Bean Tostitos. OK, maybe not YOU, but I would certainly think about it.

December: DUH. This is the longest and most sustained calorie dump of the year...it lasts from the moment all the dishes are put back in the hutch from Thanksgiving and ends only when you shove the tree out the front door on it's way to cremation city and the last candy cane snaps under your foot and you claim 5 second rule and suck it to a sharp point to stickily poke the nearest annoyed family member before crunching the last of it's minty goodness until next year.

Whew. I think I gained 4.8 pounds just typing this. AND it made me hungry - no, it actually just made me want to eat. Like most everything does. However, after this most recent food season, where I abandoned most of my ideals about eating healthy and not overindulging in the horrifically calorific until my scale read out stopped showing numbers and just spelled out "REALLY??", I realized that it's a fools game and I am the grand prize winner. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to think fondly of the nanaimo bars Handsome Stranger's boss sent home, the 3 pounds of gummy bears my children gifted me with, or the berry pie, rocky road, and pecan caramels I MADE MYSELF when I am eating steaming piles of unsalted vegetables and drinking water like a camel in a sandstorm for the next couple weeks to take it all back off again. Sheesh...you'd think I'd learn.

So listen to my wisdom, and mix things up a bit....maybe if I had banana bread in March for a new food holiday, then again between Labor Day and Halloween I would not have eaten an entire loaf of it myself, including a bit of butter and cream cheese here and there. Although I dare you to not eat an entire loaf of this...a lovely friend shared this with me as she makes it every year to give as Christmas gifts to her friends and family, and it is in my recipe binder in the category "BEST EVER" offerings. It will take samples and a miracle to beat this one....it is exceptional and don't think you can...but I'm more than willing to judge any and all attempts you want to send my way.

Sour Cream Banana Bread Ala Ros

1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 C. butter, softened
3 C. sugar
3 eggs
6 ripe bananas, mashed
16 oz. (2 C.) sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. baking soda
4-1/2 C. flour
1 C. chopped walnuts OR macadamia nuts as per Ros (opt.)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease 4 loaf pans (I used the regular sized foil ones, then the metal ones I bought last year because son #2 wanted to make lots of bread and needed metal pans - they both worked great), then mix the 1/4 c. sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon and use to coat greased pans with. Trust me....this is a highlight that is ridiculously simple AND delicious....my daughter and I nearly got into a slap fight over cutting the sides and bottom of the bread off before the other could get to it first.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, then add eggs and beat well, pour in smashed bananas, sour cream, vanilla cinnamon, salt and baking soda and mix until well blended and smoothish. Beat in flour until mixed, then fold or mix in nuts if you are using them. I did not....nuts add a LOT of calories/points plus, and altho I love walnuts in banana bread, I decided to try it without. Ros uses macadamia nuts for a little Island flair, and although it was good, to me it was just nuts, and unless I can tell they're macadamias, I'm not going to spend 15 bucks a pound to add them. If I did, I would probably toast them in some butter in a skillet to bring out the flavor...but this bread is a wonder nutless (hahaha), so that's how I will probably always make it.

Measure even amounts into each pan...I use a scoop and do one in each pan until I get down to the last of the batter....just make them sort of even so they bake at the same rate. Put them in the oven, not touching each other or the sides and bake at least an hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean when you poke them in the center. Let them cool a bit, then turn out and finish cooling on their sides on a rack....if you leave them in the pan too long it will make the cinnamon sugar sweaty on the bottom and you'll be reduced to scraping it out with your finger because your tongue isn't long enough to get down into the bottom of the loaf pan.

The sour cream is what really makes this bread....don't be tempted to under cook because you won't need to....if that pick comes out clean, the bread will still be so moist it's between a bread and a really good cake - and the cinnamon sugar on the sides and bottom give it a caramelized sugary crunch that will make your eyes spin in your head....SO good! It's good hot, warm, cold, frozen, stale, and probably moldy although I dare you to have any last long enough for any self respecting microbe to take root in it....one bite and you'll be hooked so hard you'll sell your grandmothers Charles and Di tea towels for a bag of black bananas for the next fix. And I will be right there with you, a stick of butter and a tub of cream cheese with a snowman-handled spreading knife....aaaaaahhhhhhhhh.


  1. (comment from NamaS inadvertently discarded by lame blog poster...)
    I LOVE banana bread. It's one of those things that I make a lot. Probably because I don't like bananas unless they are green. So, once they reach the point of no return, I put them in bread. So far my go to recipe is Flour's Famous Banana Bread. It will be hard to beat. It's amazing. I'm excited to try this one.

  2. I'm totally with you on the green banana thing...my prob is that Handsome Stranger will fight the fruit flies for the nasty brown ones so I have to hide them for bread. Let me know what you think....I swear this could almost pass for cake too!