Wednesday, April 13, 2011
A Rekindled Flame
"I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again."
With this Oscar Wilde quote, I welcome you to my world. You'd be surprised sometimes how big a difference one little comma seems to make. I am, however, trying to restrain myself, to overcome the perfectionism and just to do it. I think The New Yorker is sending me a subliminal message; when I opened up the latest issue tonight, I saw that there was an article called "Just Write it!", about why authors shouldn't make their readers wait. Well, message received. And, gloriously enough, I'm basically done, at least for now, with the Chekhov section!! Onwards and upwards tomorrow with Sologub, which will constitute the bulk of the chapter.
While writing has moved to the center of my existence, the simple truth is that a girl has got to eat. And this past weekend, on a morning when my allergies seemed to be cooperating with my need both to breathe and eat, I baked banana bread. It had really been too long.
You see, this past summer, I was obsessed with banana bread. I made it at least 5 or 6 times. The Bakesale Betty recipe that started this blog off was my go to, but I also experimented with peanut butter (besides coffee, the great love of my life), chocolate chips, cardamom, raisins and rum....Yep, it's a very versatile food and worth a revisit. But somehow, my banana bread flame, perhaps after I almost caught my hair on fire during one experiment (which would kind of make sense) burned out and I started using my bananas in other things.
I just couldn't stay away, however; the pull was too strong. And after this round, well, banana bread and I, we've rekindled things. We'll be seeing each other at least once a month. Maybe more. Maybe there are lots of fish in the sea, but it's important to make time for old friends. If that seems strange to you, just call me old-fashioned.
Banana Bread with Chocolate and Cinnamon
It could never yield enough, but, practically speaking, about 8 thick slices
adapted from Molly Wizenberg's A Homemade Life, with minor modifications
Because I like texture and things that taste of nuts, I added what was left of an almost empty bag of walnuts. I also added the leftover ground almonds that I've used in Greek butter cookies and my favorite breakfast polenta. Ultimately, this led to a slightly heartier and rich bread.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup ground almond
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 medium-sized bananas, mashed
1/4 cup 2% Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a standard-sized loaf pan.
-Melt the 6 tablespoons of butter and let cool.
-In the meantime, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, ground almonds, walnuts and salt. Add the chocolate chips and mix well to combine.
-In a medium bowl, mash the bananas.
-Then, add the lightly beaten eggs, yogurt, melted butter, and vanilla and stir to mix well.
- Pour wet ingredients into flour mixture and gently fold in with a rubber spatula until just combined.
- Do not overmix. The batter will be thick and lumpy.
-Pour into prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with both cinnamon and brown sugar.
-Bake until the loaf is a deep shade of golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. -- If the top seems to be browning too quickly, tent with aluminum foil.
- Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
- Then let cool completely or, as I did, cut into it and enjoy it while it's still hot.