You Always Were Two Steps Ahead

Miss Sasha let slip that in North Dakota she can get fresh lingonberries, long a staple of Swedish food. Here in New Jersey, lingonberries are generally only available after a lengthy traipse through IKEA, though recently, Pete and I found them canned in the grocery store. Thus, I have informed Miss Sasha she will be jarring lingonberries because I want to eat those, and isn’t that what’s important in life? Sure. So let’s talk about banana bread. I started with a recipe from a famous cookbook, which was okay but not great. Gradually, I made it healthier, moister real food. I’d pat myself on the back but – would you get that for me?

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients:

1-1/3 c whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Optional

1 tablespoon basil
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a separate mixing bowl, cream together:

5 generous tablespoons butter
2/3 c brown sugar

Slowly add dry ingredients, then add:

2 lightly beaten eggs

Fold in:

1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or toasted pignoli nuts
5 mashed bananas

Grease a loaf pan and dump in the gloppy batter. Bake 50 minutes. Test for doneness with a butter knife. If batter sticks, bake and test in five minute increments. When finished, the bake will be moist and very dense. Serve slices toasted with cream cheese.

Banana bread is often a way to use leftovers, but I think it’s a simple way to get more fruit into our diets in the winter. Tonight, I made a whole cranberry bread based on the same recipe, adding some minced tropical I’d bought dried and reconstituted plus a little orange juice. The flavor is sweet and tangy; Pete is looking forward to eating a couple of slices toasted with butter for breakfast.

The thought occurs that super ripe platanos could substitute for bananas. Think I’ll try that. And you?

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