Monday, March 30, 2020

Teatime treats

in which our plucky heroine joins the pandemic Baking Brigade...

So, just after I went into seclusion, I was gifted with a bunch of bananas from dear Gersvinda, it seemed the best use would be turning some into banana bread. I've not baked it in years, but still have the recipe from my childhood, an odd one that uses both baking powder and baking soda, with the addition of a teaspoon of vinegar to help activate the baking soda.
These are mini loaves, the recipe calls for a 9 x 5 pan, but since I rarely bake tea breads, I used the smaller pans and divided the dough/batter; it was just the right amount, and the loaves rose high, but not too much. Might have to make this one again some time. The remaining bananas went into the freezer for future use. The banana nut bread looks just as I remember, and I couldn't resist slicing into it once it had cooled enough. Shortly after the photo, the little slice became an evening snack, yum!
The two mini loaves will be sliced, once they are entirely cool, and then wrapped, and frozen. That way I can remove a slice or two, to have with afternoon tea. The bread turned out very mild and delicious, with a subtle banana flavor, and I can see why I liked it when I was a Very Picky Child. I think we used walnuts way back then, but I like pecans better, so that is what I used.

a friend of mine posted this on her FB page, and I thought it important enough to share, as it contained information I have not seen being shared elsewhere:
My uncle is an infectious disease doctor. He has a career of working in epidemics and pandemics, and was heavily involved in the Ebola crisis and went to Africa multiple times to do this work. He sent our family this advice, and I have permission to share it with you:

“I want to urge you to make and use masks when out of the house. Despite the current US Govt position, the evidence for their effectiveness is strong.

I think the govt. policy mistake (discouraging use of masks by the general population) was caused by not considering that almost all the virus in the air is in droplets (not bare 100 nanometer size virus), and even the most rudimentary home-made mask will be very good at blocking droplets. No need for masks that block virus-size particles. Talk about letting the perfect be the enemy of the good!

So no need to buy or hoard masks, just make a few from cotton, and reuse them for the duration. You can decontaminate it after use if you wish by laundering it, spraying with alcohol, or baking in the oven at 150 F for half an hour. Of course spread by direct contact with objects is also an important risk and proper precautions there are needed, but you screen all your windows when you want to keep mosquitos out, not just one side of the house.

I hear that soon a new official US directive will come out soon recommending the public wear masks. Hopefully it will be permissive regarding the nature of the masks. Too bad we didn’t do this from the beginning.

beauty in the time of isolation:

Some of the sidewalk chalk art on my street from earlier this week...

I'm making lists of both the things I forgot to make sure were on hand, and of how much of things like foodstuff I am using up in a week, so as to have a better idea of what to restock for earthquake prep

March SMART goals (x=extra)
1 candied pomelo peel back corner fenceyard waste bin
2 blood orange marmaladepantry reorganisedrecycle bin
3 cara cara marmaladecorned beef in freezer -
4 three drawings
repair dainty bag -
5 new ricebag casesfruit tree pruning x
6 printer/ironing cart peas planted
7 banana breads periodontal surgery
8 seven masks x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - I am safe and healthy. Right now, that is a lot...

Also, the banana bread recipe:
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup dry milk + 1/3 cup water
(or 1/3 cup wet milk)
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup mashed banana
1 egg
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup chopped nuts

9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan, lightly greased
bake at 350F for 50 to 60 minutes or until done
Preheat your oven.
Sift all the dry ingredients together (not nuts, though).
Mix all the moist ingredients together in a good size bowl.
Add the dry ingredients to the moist all at once, and mix
Quickly mix in the nuts (once wet and dry are mixed, the sooner you get the batter into the pan into the oven, the lighter your bread will be.)
Fill the pan(s) and bake.
Begin testing as for cake at about 50 minutes.

Let cool before slicing, very important.

Notes: I used two small mini loaf pans instead of the large one, which worked well.


  1. I always replace walnuts with pecans too! Thank goodness banana bread is so easy and delicious so bananas never go to waste no matter how ugly and soft they get. Your loaves turned out nicely, a beautifully consistent golden color all over.

    1. wish I could share the taste over the internets...