Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Banana-Zucchini Bread


     Today, I decided to do the laundry. I decided to wash all my sheets and all my towels. I decided to reorganize my closet. I have piled up all the dishes, and I will do them All. Because my parents are visiting. Not just my parents, but my parents and my little brother. (My little sister having decided to go to school on the West Coast she cannot join the reunion, but I will see her soon so all is well.)

     Struggling to get my comforter back into its newly washed duvet cover a little while ago, I felt a strange kind of vertigo. My family is visiting so I'm cleaning my apartment. Wasn't it just yesterday that I was sitting on the couch folding the laundry with my mom? That I was complaining about the sandwiches she'd made me to take to school? That I could come home and there would be fresh baked bread stored, as always, in the slow cooker? Yes, I get it back for a little while over vacation. But is this, this living in an apartment and making my own meals and folding my own little store of laundry, is this real life now?

     If it is, its a good thing my parents are visiting. I want to be pampered for a little while. I don't want to cook my own meals. I want to be driven around in the car, in the back seat with my little brother. One of my very wise friends the other day commented on our lives at college, how we are constantly running around. No two hours are spent in the same place between different classes and meetings and studying. Its true, and now I need a respite, a little haven. And that is what parents are for, right?

     Just like this bread. I know I gravitate towards banana bread and zucchini bread, so it seems inevitable that a banana-zucchini bread is making its way onto my page. But, when one has half a zucchini in the fridge and wants comforting food, this does seem the way to go. This bread is dense and moist, full of banana flavor and the heartwarming knowledge that one is eating a vegetable. But most importantly, with its cinnamon and nutmeg goodness, this bread made my apartment smell like home. A home my parents and brother can come visit and fill full of home-like memories.

Banana Zucchini Bread
Adapted from Joy the Baker

2 large Ripe Bananas
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
2 tsp Vanilla
1/4 cup Milk (or use Soy Milk to stay vegan)
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
1 cup Shredded Zucchini

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8 by 4 (or 9 by 5) loaf pan.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and set aside. Next, in a separate mixing bowl, thoroughly mash your bananas. To your bananas, add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and milk. Whisk everything together until incorporated. Using a wooden spoon, mix these wet ingredients into your dry ones until just combined. Fold in your shredded zucchini, and scrape the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, testing with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean and the bread is ready. Once it is done, take it out on the oven and cool it on a wire rack for ten minutes in the pan. Then, upturn the cake onto the pan, and leave it to cool completely - or slice and eat right away.

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