Banana bread is dead to me
I don’t know why I keep buying bananas, they never get eaten.
I buy two or three at the beginning of the week thinking — optimistically — they will be a great snack as I bolt out the door in the morning, something I can eat in the car while I travel between appointments.
Well, they just never manage to leave the house.
Between the car keys, the cup of coffee, my briefcase, purse, glasses and phone (it’s not like I have banana pocket) I just run out of hands and, truthfully, out of interest. The bananas sit atop the microwave in that cute little fruit basket I bought at the farmer’s market last year until they are stinky and black.
Frankly, it starts to smell like wet gym socks in the kitchen and it takes me a day or two to realize why.
Finally, I can’t look at them one more minute but rather than throw them into compost, I toss them in the freezer thinking again, ever so optimistically, that I will add them frozen to my morning smoothies that I incidentally also never make. I am pathetic.
So, into the freezer they go until they are shriveled and hard. They pile up until I no longer even have room for ice.
Suddenly on some random, rainy Sunday, in a flashback from my youth, I think — ‘hey, I’ve got time and all the fixings, I should make banana bread.’
OK, when banana bread is good it can be quite good. It can definitely have its moments. But after the first slice, it’s just banana bread and it’s boring. There are only so many creative ways to jazz up banana bread and I have tried most of them. Turning the batter into muffins doesn’t make it any more interesting either, trust me.
I’ve thrown in a little grated zucchini, some dark chocolate chunks and walnuts and even some peanut butter.
I’ve added cinnamon, roasted peanuts, cocoa powder and even Nutella. Some batches turn out better than others, but it’s still just banana bread.
I should have just eaten the damn banana when it was fresh then I wouldn’t have to torture myself with the guilt of throwing it in the garbage or finally repurposing it into something different I can throw away.
So, last weekend, as I made what may be my very last batch of banana bread ever, I decided to really raise the bar with a little booze. Some over proof dark rum, three tablespoons of it creamed into the butter and just because I felt like heading somewhere a little tropical I added a cup of shredded, sweetened, toasted coconut. What the heck, into the loaf pan and then, finally, into the waiting oven.
My house smelled like a pina colada was cooking. It almost made me forget for a few minutes that it was banana bread. Then it came out of the oven and there it was, on the rack in all of its banana bread glory. Cooling, taunting me, reminding me again that my ridiculous need to repurpose a 40 cent banana had taken me to this place.
I hate to finally admit it but banana bread is dead to me. There is no good end result; even when you add booze and coconut — one of the best ingredients ever — you still just end up with banana bread.
Angie Quaale is a local foodie and owner of Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store on the Langley Bypass.