Saturday, February 12, 2011

When life gives you brown bananas...

...make banana bread. After a night of little sleep, I saw those darn brown bananas on my counter and decided to go for it. (I subscribe to my mother's philosophy that I'll rest when I'm dead.) I already pointed you toward this cooking blog before but just had to repeat her banana bread recipe with some teeny tiny modifications. It's super-easy - all in one bowl with no mixer - even a mom of a preemie can do it, with the help of her toddler son:

Banana bread, adapted from Smitten Kitchen
3 to 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
3/4 to 1 cup light brown sugar (depending on the level of sweetness you prefer; I use the smaller amount)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
scant 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup of flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla and bourbon, then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack for about 10 minutes before removing from pan. Slice to serve.

My girlfriend made this for Jeremy and Jack while I was in the hospital for monitoring. They devoured it. And the results were great today too. 

We enjoyed a wonderful visit with long-time friends this afternoon, who we haven't seen in more than a year. They brought their 3-year-old twin boys, and Jack was in heaven. We caught up over Thai food from Penny's (a vestige of our twenty-something days in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood) while the boys ran amok. And when I say amok, I mean amok: Three little boys yelling, dancing, turning lights on and off - I even caught Jack sitting atop his dresser. As they left, Jack declared, "I had fun with my visitors."

Do you know how amazing the human body is? It's amazing. I'm reading Dr. Sears' The Premature Baby Book, and mama's milk for a preemie is actually a different "formula" from that of a mother of a full-term baby. Can you stand it? Also, we've been doing kangaroo care, and apparently my body will change temperature to accommodate Jossie's body temperature. Crazy! We're doing some kangaroo care in my bed as I type this - no worries, I'm not balancing the laptop on the baby. Jazz is playing, Jeremy's playing Angry Birds on the iPad, and Roscoe the cat is snoozing between my legs. For a second, life is almost normal.

I think I'll go send Jeremy for one last piece of banana bread now. Good night! (I just picked my labels for this post and had to laugh - nothing better than babies, breads and family!)

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