Ever feel like the week started without you? I’m not alone feeling this way because yesterday was garbage day and the Mr. didn’t put the bins out to the road. “It’s Tuesday??” he said. It felt like Saturday to me and now it’s Wednesday morning here in Australia. I lost Monday completely.
All is not lost. My next door neighbor Fran came over with home made chilli jam and sweet chilli sauce. Both are really good and made in her brand new Thermomix. She left with a pot of home made butter I’d just finished. While she was here she told me all about trapping a huge mud crab off her pontoon yesterday and how she steamed it and how good it tasted. She took it out of the water and cooked it within 20 minutes.
So of course the Mr. dashed outside and got our crab pots out and put them in the water. Do we have a crab this morning? No. Were the chicken frames still in the pot? No. Fran gets crabs after we feed them, apparently. Tomorrow is another day.
I did make an amazing banana bread with walnuts and dates. I wanted a bread that was different than my standard recipe. It’s not that I don’t like my mother’s gold standard bread but some days you just want to venture forth. I’m glad I did because this banana bread is really good.
If you’ve got bananas that are too ripe to peel and eat – bake a banana bread. Don’t have time today? Freeze them until you’re ready. I do it all the time. That way if you only have one overripe banana you don’t need to buy more to make bread. Some people freeze the bananas in the skin but I remove the skins and wrap them tightly in tinfoil and pop them in a plastic bag in the freezer.
Making a banana bread takes only a few minutes and I don’t know many people who don’t enjoy it with or without a big slathering of butter. I made my own butter to go on the bread.
Do you make butter often or have you ever made it? I started making butter one day when I had cream that was going to go down the drain if I didn’t use it in something. It was AMAZING. I’ve been making our butter ever since. The ingredients are: cream. No preservatives, no nothing extra. Plain butter. I do add some salt if we’re going to eat rather than cook with the butter so that would be two ingredients, sorry. You whip the cream until it turns to butter, then pour off the buttermilk and make muffins with it. Rinse the butter with very cold water and mix in some salt to taste. Think about it. You’ll thank me.
- Butter or shortening to grease the pan
- 1 cup (150g) plain flour
- ½ cup (75g) self-raising flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 125g butter, melted, cooled
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- ½ cup chopped dates
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 175°C. Grease and line the base and side of a loaf pan.
- Into a large bowl, sift the flour to combine, then stir in sugar, cinnamon, walnuts and dates.
- In another bowl whisk butter and eggs together.
- Stir in mashed bananas.
- Add to dry ingredients and add vanilla extract.
- Stir to combine - do not overbeat and then place batter into prepared pan. Smooth the surface.
- Bake for 45-50 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack (if you can wait that long)
- Serve warm spread with butter.