Snow Day Banana Bread
Any parent knows that while your children are excited for the day(s) off, it means that you must figure out ways to entertain them while also trying to get work done from home -- if you have that choice/ request/ mandate. It can be challenging to strike a balance -- keep it fun yet keep the activities manageable so you can step away and keep working while they're distracted, I mean, learning or whatever. Bless all the parents who home-school their children. I really do not know how you do it!
The last storm? We ended up with 2 feet of snow. After 2 hours of shoveling (WHY have I not yet invested in a snowblower? WHY?!), we played in the snow, we played with dolls, we played tag around the apartment (I'm sure our neighbors downstairs LOVED that), and then I remembered I had over-ripe bananas in the freezer. SCORE! I asked her if she wanted to make some banana bread with me. "I don't think I've ever had banana bread before, mama. I want to!"
A little about bananas: While this tropical fruit is known as the most popular in the United States, did you know that bananas originated from Asia (known as the Indomalayan realm) and were first domesticated in Papau New Guinea around 5000 BCE? It wasn't until the Portuguese began cultivating the fruit in Brazil and West Africa that we start to see it grown throughout tropical Latin America. "Through December of , the top five sources of U.S. imports in this category were No. 1 Guatemala, No. 2 Costa Rica, No. 3 Ecuador, No. 4 Honduras and No. 5 Colombia. The top five Customs districts from which the imports entered the U.S. [...] were No. 1 Philadelphia, No. 2 Houston, No. 3 Los Angeles, No. 4 Mobile and No. 5 San Diego." (US Trade Numbers). (San Diego and LA? That's a lot Socal!) There are over 1,000 varieties of bananas grown in over 150 countries around the world today. There are cooking bananas, known as plantains, and there are dessert bananas. Those are the ones we want!
Kahlo and I dug into our freezer, pulled our frozen bananas and let them thaw. We then commenced to gathering all the rest of the ingredients for 2 loaves (because I had way too many frozen bananas)! So, here you go, amig@s!
Snow Day Banana Bread - 2 loaves
6 very ripe bananas (if you're letting frozen ones thaw, makes sure to discard most of the juice)
2/3 cup melted butter
2 teaspoons baking soda
Couple pinches of salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups of all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter and lightly flour dust two 4x8-inch loaf pans.
In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork. It should look mostly smooth, with small lumps. Stir the melted butter into the mashed bananas.
Mix in the baking soda and salt. Next, the sugar, beaten eggs, and vanilla extract. Last, mix in the flour.
Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 350°F (175°C), or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove them from oven and let cool in the pan for a few minutes. Once cooler to the touch, remove the banana bread from the pan and let cool completely before serving. (Or not. Kahlo and I ate it while it was still steaming.) Slice and serve.