Monday, March 31, 2014

I believe there may be a law of Nature that states that whenever you have a serious banana bread craving, you will not have any super-ripe bananas, and any bananas to be found in the grocery store will be in shades of green varying from grass green to pea green and not one will be even remotely brown-speckled. So you will buy them under-ripe and set them on your counter, and then just as they are about to turn nice and ripe and spotty, your husband will eat them with peanut butter because you have been so focused on baking banana bread that you haven’t stocked the house with anything to eat for lunch. Cruel, cruel Nature. ~ Emily Vikre,
I just had to copy and paste this quote in an email to the preacher this morning, for he is this very husband who scopes out and eats the bananas that have been especially hidden away for the banana bread purpose. Excellent man that he is, he just can not stand to see food go "bad".

I have not been able to convince him that there is no such thing as a bad banana, unless it is a green one.

A few minutes later, noting four perfect banana-bread bananas in the fruit basket, I asked him if he had already eaten his daily breakfast banana today. He answered in the affirmative, and that was the end of the conversation, but I should have been listening for his unspoken, "And I can't wait to eat that banana bread that you are going to bake with the rest of them!"

But I wasn't. If I had been listening to his yearnings, I could have saved him a profound disappointment.  Instead, I was focused on Emily Vikre's recipe for Espresso Banana Bread, and I proceeded to smash up those last four perfectly spotted nanners. I changed up the recipe a bit, since I didn't have espresso granules, and because I thought 1/4 cup of sugar was just waaay too little sugar for banana bread. I used instant coffee and doubled the sugar, then subbed the sour cream with kefir. And I added 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, because. (Do I need a reason to add chocolate??) AND, since I was too impatient to wait two hours for a loaf of bread to come out of the oven and cool, too, I made muffins instead.

The muffins turned out beautifully: nicely risen, a little bit cakey, and perfectly sweet and moist, with that wonderful heaven-made taste combination of chocolate and banana.  But the instant coffee didn't cut it.  There is not one trace of coffee flavor in those muffins!

Now, the preacher absolutely hates anything to do with coffee -- the smell, the taste, and most especially the resulting poisonous breath of the one who has consumed it. (That would be me. He doesn't get close enough to anyone else to smell their breath.) So when the muffins were cooling nicely on the rack and Pastor J. came in to the kitchen to "test" the finished product (as if he doesn't know what banana muffins taste like), I felt I ought to warn him that it contained coffee. 

And that is how I discovered a no-fail method for keeping the preacher out of the baked goods or anything else that comes out of the kitchen:  "Oh Honey, I added a bit of coffee to that."

To be fair, I did assure him that he would not be able to taste it, not one tiny little bit. 

But the word "coffee" did it. The poor man was so disappointed.  I did try to convince him that those muffins were really good anyway, but he wasn't buying it.

And so there were enough of them to take a half dozen to our piano teacher this afternoon.

Who ever heard of a Swede not liking coffee??

Oh.  And the green-bananas-when-you-have-a-banana-bread-craving problem is easily solved.  See Jillee's quick banana ripening method.  It works!


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