Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mummy's Banana Bread

Good lord- has the early spring been crazy busy for everyone else, or is it just me??? They say that life with a baby can move at warp speed, but I really didn't think time could go by quite as quickly as it has been in the last few months- wow! 

Just a quick update on our boy- Will is on the cusp of the nine month mark, and he continues to grow and amaze us every day. Having mastered crawling, he is on the move all the time these days, and I wouldn't be surprised if walking isn't too far away, since he lives to pull himself up on various items and use them to work on his stepping skills. 

This baby update isn't just a shameless bragfest about my little fella, since as Will continues to grow and change, he has become a more adventurous eater (not surprising, given his genetic disposition!). As a result, I find myself with a renewed sense of motivation in the kitchen, and a I've started testing out various recipes with him to see what he's into. This new rebirth of my culinary endeavors has also been compounded by the fact that we purchased a share in a  CSA (that's Community Supported Agriculture) through Covey Rise Farms started up last week, so I have been working to find new ways to bring out the wonderful produce we're getting from the program. We found out about the farm from their partner, Covey Rise Lodge, a fantastic hunter's paradise that my father-in-law discovered on a visit, and a place we keep going back to for a fun afternoon of clay shooting. So, be on the lookout in the future for posts highlighting our amazing CSA produce (as well as the stuff we're growing here in our backyard- check out The Humble Home), I'm really excited to see what the season brings! 

One thing I've found that Will adores so far is my mother's banana bread recipe. I have long loved this wonderfully tasty bread, and you can imagine how thrilled I was to find out that Will was just as enthusiastic about it. It's a great way to use up bananas that have gone a little past peak, and the addition of Grapenuts gives the bread a wonderful texture and body with a subtle brightness from the lemon zest. The original recipe called for just white flour, but I've been subbing in 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour for a little added boost. I usually take the sugar down to about 1/2 a cup as opposed to the 2/3 cup the recipe calls for, but you can adjust to your taste. 

For Will, I make these as mini muffins (omitting the nuts for his share, but adding it in for the 1/2 half), and it makes a perfect pan of 24 minis. They're a great size for him, and it's easy to throw a couple in a snack bag to take with us on adventures down to the park. Baked off as a loaf, the bread makes for a great hostess gift or contribution to a potluck. The bread also freezes well in either form, and is a sinch to throw together- this morning's batch I just whipped up while the boy was taking his morning snooze. 

Big thanks again to my wonderful Mummy for this family favorite that has already made a friend in the newest generation of foodies!

Mummy's Banana Bread

- 1/3 Cup butter, softened
- 1/2-2/3 Cup sugar
- 3/4 Tspn lemon zest
-  1 Egg, beaten
- 1 3/4 Cups flour (I use 1 c. white a 3/4 cup whole wheat)
- 2 Tspn baking powder
- 1/4 Tspn baking soda
- 1/2 Tspn salt
- 1 Cup mashed banana
- 1/2 Cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1/2 Cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 Cup Grapenuts
* about 1/2 Cup milk

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together butter and sugar, add in lemon zest and egg. Sift dry ingredients together and stir into wet. Add in bananas and mix well. Add in nuts, cranberries and Grapenuts and mix well. Thin dough slightly with milk, until consistency is smooth, but still thick. Spoon into mini muffin or bread pan. Bake muffins for 30 mins, and bread for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.