Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Busted But Not Busted Banana Bread

BLONDE MOMENT ALERT!  Yesterday, I had grand plans to give away of a couple of loaves of banana bread.  You see, I have this thing where I totally, entirely, and completely hate to waste food ((the therapist that I don't have will address that issue later)), add in that I love to bake stuff/make stuff, but I don't really eat any of it, and you have yourself a prime opportunity to score some homemade stuff off of me.  But...  I had a total space-out.  I don't really know what I was thinking or not thinking, but I forgot to add the sugar.  Oops.

So like any normal, totally odd person, I decided to announce my idiocy and my inability to give up on something on Facebook.  What resulted was about ten different ideas for how to resuscitate it.  And you know?  Some of those ideas are winners.  But let's start at the beginning.

What you need:

3-4 black bananas ((mashed))
1/3 cup of melted butter
1 cup of sugar ((AHEM))
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 and 1/2 cups of flour

What you do:

Two or three weeks prior, maybe less, buy some bananas and then totally neglect them on the counter top.  They should look about like this:

Looks terrible right?  Nah, perfect.  Here's the thing though.  These are bananas that I get from the co-op where they are not gassed.  Apparently grocery stores and/or their suppliers ((I don't know which)) "gas" the bananas so that they look all nice and pretty and yellow.  Non-gassed bananas don't get quite that same color.  They go from looking green to brown and beat-up pretty quickly.  The insides of these were actually still basically intact.

Peel them and mash them up.  You can use a potato masher or the back of a spoon.  Whichever.  Mix the melted butter into them.  Now add the sugar, egg, and vanilla and combine.  Sprinkle the baking soda and the salt over the top of that mixture and fold it in.  ((Fold is a fancy way of saying take the stuff from the bottom of the bowl and put it on the top, repeatedly.))  Add the 1 1/2 cups of flour and stir.

Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for about an hour.  A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean when it is done.

It will look like this if you forgot the sugar:

This is the point where I started thinking, "Huh.  That's weird.  It looks like regular bread.  Oh well."

Had I not thought about it, I never would have realized my omission.  When I cut off an end to see just how bad it was, it actually tasted *basically* normal.  I could have given it to someone and they never would have known the difference.  That said, those bananas were quite sweet given how ripe they were.  However, we came up with a number of options for how to salvage it.

1.  Sprinkle it with splenda.  I tried a bite that way.  Damn good.
2.  Dump some maple syrup on it.  Also good.
3.  Add honey to it.  Super good.
4.  Drizzle a little agave on it.  Good.
5.  Add honey butter.  The goodest.  ((Yes, it's a word.))

At this point, I was over the whole experimenting process, but my lovely and talented fb friends also came up with the following ideas:  use it for French toast, make a base for bread pudding, smash it into ice cream, add chocolate or caramel sauce, cut it up into cubes and layer it in a trifle with fruit and honeyed whipped cream, top it with yogurt and fruit, or my personal favorite, smear it with frosting because why the hell not?

So there you have somebody's recipe for banana bread that has been in an email folder entitled "Recipes" since sometime in the late 90's which I sent to myself, so I no longer have any idea where it came from.

May you have better luck in actually adding everything that is called for.  Or maybe not.  Screwing something up and then working it out is a lot of the fun of cooking.  I think I'll mess things up more often.    

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