Though it has been too bitterly cold for the farmer's market and local produce, with the ice winds and the layers of snow decorating the landscape, I still keep my kitchen well stocked with an army of fruits and vegetables. Living by myself, I tend to be a bit over zealous with my shopping, and often end up with more fruits and vegetables than I am capable of consuming in the transient window of time before they spoil. With bananas, for me, that transient window is rather narrow; generally, I only enjoy peeling and eating them while they are still firm and only have just turned yellow. Thankfully, I have this delicious recipe for banana bread, which I have adapted from the 1969 edition of Betty Crocker. She may be a constructed image of the cult of domisticity, and a grand marketing ploy at that, but she does offer some mean appetizers, desserts, and entrees.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup mashed ripe banana
3/4 cup milk (I use whole)
1 large egg
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup or so of semi-sweet chocolate morsels (optional)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to taste
I mash the bananas first, in a large mixing bowl (this one is an olive green Pyrex bowl from the 1960s). I then add the milk, vanilla, and spices, then stir in the granulated and brown sugar.
Here is the flour, salt, and baking powder in a smaller mixing bowl (a yellow polka dotted Pyrex, also from the 1960s, just in front of my yellow and green Tupperware cannisters). I add the flour slowly to the banana mixture, incorporating it well into the wet mix. Somewhere in between, when the mixture becomes too dry and difficult to stir, I add the egg and also the vegetable oil.
Here, I have stirred in the chocolate morsels and the walnuts. Other nuts could be substitued, and I have considered opting for dried cranberries or cherries in lieu of the chocolate, but chocolate always seems to win out. Must be the anti-oxidants.
Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 9x5x3 inch loaf pan (or something about that size) and bake in 350 degree oven for about an hour, or until the bread passes the toothpick test.