This is the story of ten small, ripe bananas.
They sat on the dinner table in the fruit bowl, next to four gigantic mangoes the size of my head. It’s summer here in the southern hemisphere, and it’s hot and humid–the perfect season for mangoes and summery fruit.
Though we bought them at the same time, and around the same level of ripeness, the mangoes are still hard, and will probably take another week to ripen. But the bananas, which were green when we got them, started to get yellow almost instantly, and within just two days of the mangoes’ company, boasted several brown spots, teetering precariously on the edge of ‘ripe’ and ‘overripe’.
I kept twitching every time I looked over at the dinner table.There were ten of them. And only two of us. We cannot eat ten bananas in one day.
Finally, this morning, I stood in front of them, deciding their fate.
“We are bananas.” They seemed to say.
“No,” I imagined answering them, in the wizened voice of Mr. Miyagi, “No, you have all ripened much too quickly. Some of you will stay behind. But for most of you, the path forward is clear. We all think we are one thing. But we are actually waiting to be transformed into something else. You are not bananas. You are banana bread.”
“Ah” they seemed to respond. “Now it all makes sense. Please, sensai. Help us to fulfill our destiny.”
And so I looked online, and helped seven of the ripe bananas fulfill their destiny. They became banana bread, and lived happily ever after in my belly.
The following recipe was adapted from: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/05/29/best-ever-banana-bread-with-cream-cheese-frosting/
Set oven at 175C (350F). Mix the wet ingredients in a large bowl with a fork:
- 1/2 cup room temperature unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup yogurt
- A little over 2 cups of ripe, mashed bananas (I used 7 small ones)
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
Mix the dry ingredients in a smaller bowl.
- 2 cups AP flour (or cake wheat flour)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp of ground allspice
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and keep stirring with the fork until the batter comes together.
Butter a loaf pan, and pour the batter into the loaf pan. Stick in oven for 65 minutes (but keep checking it by inserting a knife inside). I didn’t need to add aluminum foil at the halfway point. I don’t think this needs cream cheese frosting, because it’s really good on it’s own, but it will certainly enhance the flavor; though it might tip this from being ‘possible to call it breakfast’ to ‘most definitely dessert’.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Put half a tub (4oz) of cream cheese in a bowl.
- Add about 4-5 heaped teaspoonfuls of powdered sugar.
- Mix together with a fork and taste for sweetness. (If too sweet, add more cream cheese.)
- Add a dash of vanilla extract.
- Add food coloring if you want it to be fun. I sometimes draw pictures on the set frosting with melted chocolate and a ziploc bag doubled as a piping bag.
- Spread onto this, (or literally any baked good you wish to make even better.)
The smell of this banana bread wafting through the apartment was so enticing, I shamelessly didn’t wait for my husband to get home before trying a slice. I shamelessly didn’t even wait to “let it cool” or finish this post to try a slice. I did, however, take a grainy cellphone picture.
The banana bread hit the spot–It was moist, sweet, light, and yet oddly filling. In the future, I would reduce the sugar by just a tiny bit. But most banana bread recipes call for a full 1 cup of sugar to 2 cups of flour, so this is just my personal taste; and maybe the fact that I added a few more mashed bananas than needed, and there were no pecans to contrast the sweetness.
I would definitely make this recipe again. The bananas are happy. I am happy.
Now I have to figure out the destiny of the other three.