Doesn't anyone post on this blog anymore? Answer: I do I do!
What makes a perfect day for banana bread? Is it shell-shock? Suicidal tendencies? Possible pedophilia? No, no, and no! A perfect day for banana bread is when you have nearly rotten bananas that you need to use up.
Wait until you have approximately 5 bananas that are too ripe to be at all enticing. Two of these bananas will be totally rotten, to the point that they're a gooey mess that leaks all over your microwave (you never knew bananas could do that!) unfortunately destroying your portrait of Barack Obama, which was sent to you by your congressional representative, along with a note stating that he went to the inauguration and you didn't, probably because you live in his district and are therefore impoverished. But this is okay, because (a) The initial humor of the Barack Obama portrait had worn off, and now it just seemed creepy, having his image stare down at you from the top of your refrigerator, and you realized your friends laughed nervously when they saw it, wondering if it was some kind of shrine, and if you might be the kind of friend who would pester them to join you in phone-banking during the next election; and (b) You only need about 3 bananas to make this recipe!
You will use a recipe taken mainly from allrecipes.com, except you will add cinnamon and walnuts, because that sounds like a good idea. These are your ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened (except you never leave the butter out to soften ahead of time, so you put it on top of your oven to get some heat from the pilot light. But this is a delicate process, and you will almost certainly leave it a little too long so that a melty stream of it will curl around the top of your oven.)
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups mashed banana (You know all about those bananas.)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9"x5" loaf pan. (Except you don't have a loaf pan, so you use a 9"x13" baking pan, which you block off at the 5" mark with a piece of foil, a technique that works sometimes, but not particularly well with bread, which pushes back the foil as it rises, so that instead of having a loaf shaped bread, you will end up with a funny square-shaped bread, but that's okay.)
2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl (except you use a medium-sized sauce pan, because your mixing bowls are in your parents' attic in San Jose, California, and while you could just buy new mixing bowls here, you keep putting it off because you believe that one day soon, you'll go there and actually bring back the mixing bowls, along with your backpacking backpack and your copy of Salinger's Nine Stories, which you just remembered you want to reread, after contemplating the title of this post) cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then the banana.
3. Stir in the flour, baking soda and cinnamon, then the walnuts, stirring just until combined. (! Stirring more messes with the density of your bread !) (So you've heard.)
4. Plop into your prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the pan, cool and eat up. Refrigerate or freeze to keep.
Serving suggestion: You will finish baking this bread at approximately 12:15 at night, at which point you will eat little pieces of it while it is still too hot to handle. You will do this because there is something deliciously decadent about completing a baked good in the middle of the night. You will then play online boggle and create bad video art. When you wake the following morning, you will try to decide if you want cream of wheat or toast for breakfast, and then you will remember with great joy that you have an amusing square of banana bread in the fridge. Your breakfast will thus look something like this: