< Fresh Approach: Banana-Date Bread

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Banana-Date Bread

Many, many years ago in a not so far away land there were some maidens who wanted to earn some extra cash to fund their leisurely lifestyles. They were clever and crafty young things and oh yes, they had the drive to succeed. All that held them back from their riches was the perfect idea. They had the will, the skills, the determination and let's just say it, the deadication to really do something outstanding when they got down to it.

For a short while they dabbled in hand-made custom order apron-dresses, (Kinda like this. Actually, exactly like that. Hmm. I must have issues because I still think they look sort of cute. Yikes.) but that proved to be excessively time consuming. Next up, they thought they could break into the fimo dough bead market, but alas, that was well covered. Then one starry night as they lay in a field somewhere in the middle of nowhere Indiana, staring up at the stars with the strains of music lingering in their ears it came to them like a bolt from the blue. The way to their financial freedom was as simple as whipping up that tasty tropical treat, banana bread.

You see kids, in those days there was a fantastically popular band who roamed the globe with a merry band of followers, and if nothing else, that lot tended to be hungry. Very, very hungry. They pretty much seemed to subsist on a diet of burritos and grilled cheese, cookies and stir fry, popcorn balls and something a little more tricky called goo-balls. They ate tofu-jerky and quesadillas, and as our young heroines learned, they also craved banana bread, and could eat lots of it. So with that solid information, all our puerile misses had to do was hawk it at 1 slice for $3.00 or 2 for $5.00 from sweet little ribbon festooned wicker baskets in parking lots all over the nation and watch the money roll in.

Tweaking a recipe from the outstanding and infallible Joy of Cooking, they brought their banana bread forth, (six varieties in all) and it was good. Oh heavens was it good. So good in fact, they ended up making a tidy bundle of cash, and one of them (your narrator, I fear) ate so many gosh darned 'nanas she developed an allergy to them that persists to this day. Happily, that does not stop the former little chicky from baking her cosmically delicious bread from time to time, the scent of which brings her back to a long forgotten place, where "everybody's dancing in a ring around the sun."

Try this, and enjoy.

1 1/2 cups white flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons butter (or shortening)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 large, completely ripe (brown) bananas, mashed
1/4 cup dates, diced

Preheat your oven to 350F

In a medium bowl, sift together the flours, wheat germ, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Cream throughly (when you think you are done, keep beating for another minute) then add the eggs and bananas. Beat together completely. Fold in the dates.

Pour your batter into a well buttered loaf pan. Bake 45 minutes to one hour, or until a knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.

Cool in the pan. Slice and serve.

Makes one loaf or about 10 slices


A Short List of Bands/Singers with Food Names:
Meatloaf, Bread, Moby Grape, Jelly Roll Morton, Ice-T, Spice Girls, Cream, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Salt 'n' Pepa, String Cheese Incident, Smashing Pumpkins, Leftover Salmon, The Cranberries, Black Eyed Peas, Strawberry Alarm Clock, Phish, Skankin' Pickle, Vanilla Fudge, Hot Chocolate, Blue Oyster Cult, Cake, Korn, The Lemonheads, Flying Burrito Brothers, Electric Prunes and Ray Anton and the Peppermint Men

Remember the Chiquita Banana Song?

"I'm Chiquita banana and I've come to say - Bananas have to ripen in a certain way- When they are fleck'd with brown and have a golden hue - Bananas taste the best and are best for you - You can put them in a salad - You can put them in a pie-aye - Any way you want to eat them - It's impossible to beat them - But, bananas like the climate of the very, very tropical equator - So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator." Music © 1945 Shawnee Press Inc.

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