Rain yet again stopped play today. I tried very hard to be a brave little bunny. After sloshing around in my waterproofs for a short while, it was obvious to all but a fool that it was too wet to continue. All I was making was mud pies and myself miserable.
Home and dried, I wondered what was to be done on such a day? And then my eagle eyes honed in on some well-tanned bananas in the fruit bowl. And I thought about banana bread. Which is strange because I haven’t made banana bread for at least 30 years. I rarely bake, I am not a fan of sweet things, I don’t often eat bananas. I am not sure what came over me. After a short rummage, I found the above recipe. It is quite peculiar coming across your own handwriting from years ago, looking directly at your younger self. I smiled to see that I started out with my best handwriting and as it progressed I became more slapdash. Mistakes, amendments, rushing to finish. A familiar tale. The recipe is one I first used as a teenager, pleasingly splattered and smudged with memories of past efforts. It was strangely comforting to think of it. Why not? I thought. Let’s give it a go for old times’ sake.
As usual, I will carefully guide you through the recipe, with the reality in italics:
- Oven 190C, Mark 5. Minimal information young Gill, I imagine this means I should turn the oven on to that temperature. Evidence indeed that all those episodes of Bake Off were indeed educational.
- Mash bananas with lemon juice. Chop walnuts. Sift baking powder and flour. The recipe calls for 3 small bananas but mine are rather large, will chuck them all in, the more nana the better! To compensate for excessive banana use I added a bit more lemon juice. Chuckle at my correction on the sheet. We don’t have any walnuts but we do have some mixed nuts, so chop those instead.
- Cream butter and sugar until creamy, beat in eggs. Type of sugar not specified but as we only have light muscavado decide this is the perfect choice. Butter rock hard, try to soften on the radiator but get bored very quickly. Try with electric hand mixer. Carnage. Tidy up. Decide on “ye olde” wooden spoon method. Blimey, forgotten how hard that is. Smells delicious. Time passes. Decide that is creamy enough. The eggs are large, hope that is OK. I’ve gone too far now to let a small matter like that trip me up. Beat in eggs with spoon. Looks disgusting. Decide to try electric hand mixer again. Mini-carnage, then all well. Looks much better.
- Stir in bananas. Easy peasy although it does seem like quite a lot. No matter, it will make it particularly moist.
- Fold in flour and walnuts. Forgot to sift flour earlier so do it straight into the mix, saves on the washing up as I don’t have my slave/little brother to clear up for me anymore. Perform a highly professional fold in, though I say it myself.
- Bake for 1 hour. Although not mentioned, I presume that I then transfer the mix to the buttered bread tin. Again thank you Bake Off. Worry slightly that there is too much batter and it will overflow. As I am past caring I just pop the tin on a tray so in case of spillage it won’t mess the oven up too much. I am such a grown up these days. Set grumpy cat time for 1 hour and wait.
Me: The excitement is too much; I think I will take a peek.
Inner Dialogue: No you will spoil it.
Me: But what if its burning?
Inner Dialogue: You would smell it if its burning, take a chill pill baby.
Me: If you are you quite sure.
*grumpy cat bell rings, rushes to oven*
Me: You told me it wouldn’t burn, that I would smell it! Why do I continue to listen to your advice? Anyone with any sense would have stopped paying attention to the rubbish you come out with years ago!
Inner dialogue: Stop fussing, it is known as “charred” not burnt. All the top restaurants are doing it these days. In fact Mary Berry has a new book out called Singe.
Me: Or I could just cut the black bits off and no one will ever know.
Inner dialogue: Good plan.
*OH walks into kitchen*
OH: It’s a bit burnt!
Me: It’s called charred.
OH: OK, shall we have a piece?
OH: Delicious, I could eat it every day!
Me: Another happy ending.