by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez / Saturday, September 24, 2011
Banana Bread + Stewed Prunes w/ Citrus & Cinnamon inspired by A Homemade Life
Our banana bread smells like home...tastes like home...is home. It's something I've always been able to make, no matter my station in life because there is no mixer required. No. Scratch that. There is no mixer allowed. It's always been mixed by hand, using a fork. Hand-written instructions explicitly detail the fact that it must be done by hand, using a fork. So we do. It originated in a time before electric mixers were even invented. I think. We've also always lined the pan with foil, as opposed to greasing or buttering (or oleo-ing) it. As far back as I can remember our banana bread, I can remember it wrapped in the long layer of foil it was cooked in. I still love peeling back the foil and slicing off a big, thick, moist slice. I think it's perfect for breakfast.
Now, I'm not going to pretend that I've never tried to make this in a mixer. Or in a pan that wasn't lined with foil. Of course I have. But it never turns out quite the same when I do. The one exception is the mashing of the bananas. I've come to like using my old baby food processor to mash up the banana all nice and smooth. It eliminates chunks of banana throughout the bread. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing...I just prefer it. As far as the foil goes, I like to take off a sheet that is at least double the size of the loaf pan. This allows me to wrap the banana bread inside of it and let it sit on the counter. We're a family divided on nuts. Usually the adults are pro-nuts and the kids are firmly against them. I've always liked it either way. I mean...sometimes you feel like a nut... I've also used chocolate chips or dried fruits and ginger instead of or in addition to the nuts. I don't think this makes much of a difference- add your favorite or leave it plain.
I mentioned that I love a warm slice for breakfast, right? Well, I decided that after hearing Molly Wizenberg's description of one of her family traditions passed down from her father, that I needed to make a batch of luscious stewed prunes to eat with my banana bread. Molly says she likes them best cold. I found that I did enjoy them cold with some thick and tangy Greek yogurt, but I love them even more warm alongside some warm banana bread and coffee...or meltingly swirled into hot oatmeal or grits.
Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, single malt Scotch, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.