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Posts Tagged ‘banana’

As a child, I mused that people were ashamed to let the bananas turn black.  That’s why I rationalized banana bread was so gosh-darn-awful because people buried bananas with sugar and spices.  If the banana bread itself wasn’t overly sweet, it is often dry and dense.  It didn’t help that mother told me it was a last resort to squeeze another week of life for the poor banana before it hit the trash.  Most variations of banana bread tasted that way, which is why I turned my nose on banana bread for a long time.

However, I have a lot to be thankful for the banana.  When I started working, the occasional banana was the perfect mid-morning snack to keep me alert and functioning through lunch.  Sometimes, when the crazy really got going during busy season, it helped me stay focused before dinner.   In a way, I wanted to do bananas justice even when they turned black.  That is why after busy season, I decided to test another banana bread recipe to see if I can bring peace to the banana’s final resting spot.

Here, with Chang’s recipe, the banana flavor is front and center.  Gone are the bothersome spices and excess sugar that mask the banana’s flavor.    Instead, there is a lovely flavorful and moist loaf studded with walnuts.  Chang credits the tender crumb to Payard’s technique with genoise cakes, where you beat the eggs and oil together.  I think she is just thoughtful and intelligent in the way she brings out the best qualities of banana bread through her recipe, as she is with all of her recipes in Flour.

Don’t believe me?  I ate 1/4 of the loaf before I remembered I needed to take a picture :3

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It is rare for San Francisco to get hot and sticky, but it does, especially during late summer.  When that happens, the locals begin to fidget, and I begin to fidget, as this restless energy spreads.  I remember this especially well since on one of those days, I was in the corner of a tiny ice cream shop called Bi-Rite Creamery with other uncomfortably sticky locals.

Normally, this is the worst place for me to be because I am slightly agoraphobic.  (Arms length personal space, please!)  However, while I was eating that ice cream, I felt alone in my space, savoring each bite of ice cream.  No, it did not faze me that I was next to the trash can and had to constantly shift, so people could shoot their ice cream cups into the trash.  It also did not faze me that behind me was a group of loud, giggly girls.  I was alone and happy.

Fast forward six months later, and I find myself feeling trapped once again.  Thanks to the fact I have no car to drive, I am starting this new year in quasi-house arrest.  Instead of dwelling on this semi-imprisonment, I focused on recreating happier times.

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