Wednesday, July 21, 2010
There's something about going back to where you grew up ... no matter that I live thousands of miles and an ocean away, I'm still connected to this little town on the Mississippi River. I haven't been back in the summertime since ... well, I can't remember when. But I'm so glad we're here!
Iowa is miles and miles of cornfields, filter coffee, and thunderstorms so strong they shake the house. Iowa has the best sweetcorn in the world. Dad picks zucchini and cucumbers and blackberries out of the garden, red-winged blackbirds warble along all the roadsides. My surviving toys from decades ago are pulled out of the attic for Nelle ... And I get to enjoy some of Mom's baking.
For example, her banana bread. I grew up with this, got it sent to me when I went away to university, and love having it everytime I'm home. It was actually my mom's mom's recipe ... and it's really simple. I've modified it slightly, because I don't believe in vegetable shortening* and I prefer raw sugar to processed sugar.
1. it's heavily processed and unnatural
2. it contains soybean oil, and after breast cancer I try to avoid hidden soy as much as possible
3. it also contains cottonseed oil, and cotton is a crop that's typically sprayed with lots of pesticides
Anyway, butter tastes better!
Grandma Juletta's Banana Bread
makes 1 large loaf or several small loaves or 12 or so muffins
serves 8-12, depending on how generous you feel
1 c raw sugar
1/2 c organic butter
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 over-ripe bananas, mashed (and don't try to cheat by using un-mushy ones, it's not as good)
1 1/2 c unbleached plain flour
1/2 c wholemeal flour* or you can use all unbleached plain flour if you want
1/2 c minced nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, macadamia ... or a mix of them)
*try to use organic ingredients when you can!
1. Preheat the oven to 180C (375F).
2. Mix sugar and butter until fluffy, then beat in eggs.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients, blending in gently (try not to overmix).
4. Grease your baking tin with butter and pour in the batter. Bake for about 1 hr until the top is browned but still a little squishy.
5. Take it out of the oven, let it cool a bit and then serve with butter and a cup of tea! Or spread with chocolate spread ...
How much did this cost me?
This is a great way to use up mushy bananas! So if you have some ageing bananas you need to use, those'll be free, right? At home organic raw sugar costs me about $0.60 and eggs are $0.50 each. Organic flour should cost around $2 and organic butter will be around $2 as well. The cost of organic nuts will depend on what kind you use, but we'll say around $0.80 if you buy them bulk. So, my large loaf of organic banana bread cost me ... $6.40. Ok, not the cheapest baking we've done ... but easy and quick to put together and still less than buying 2 muffins at the bakery! Plus, if you get your kids to help out you've got some entertainment sorted out ...
Labels: My (Slightly) Sweet Tooth