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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Baking Away the Blues with Banana Coffee-Cake Loaf

It has not escaped anyone's attention that I have been snappier than usual over the past few weeks. I find it hard to mask my emotions, (my husband says I would be awful at poker) and lately my frustrations have taken dominance over all else, making me edgier than usual, and more prone to confrontation, and verbal combat.

I am..
Frustrated trying to build a business from home...alone...
Frustrated that now married, my husband and I are still living in a crappy little apartment with my brother in-law as a roommate....
Frustrated that my husband is recently, and unexpectedly, out of work....
Frustrated that all of that leaves us without the necessary resources to THRIVE...

--With all these looming worries it is any surprise that I'm on edge?--

But, I am trying my hardest to muster up some much needed optimism, as I am much more productive (and creative) when I am happy... and both productivity (and creativity) are certainly at the core of building a successful home business.

I started by trying to calm my mind and sooth my nerves...SO...I baked...

The expected order of things and the consistency of the steps provide a good outlet for my tension. The process allows for a calming clarity and focus in its repetition.

Banana Coffee-Cake Loaf

(Makes 1 Loaf)

2 cups mashed banana
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup (or 1 1/4 stick) butter, softened
2 eggs
2 cups flour (I use 1 cup unbleached all-purpose and 1 cup self-rising)
1 tsp baking soda
Dash of salt
¾ cup walnuts, chopped

Begin by preheating the oven to match your temper (350 degrees).

Then prepare your overripe bananas, by steadily, but forcibly mashing them into a moist paste, as if they were your enemy. Set aside.

Now, cream together butter and sugar by hand, envisioning your fury being pulled from you (like a thread being wound around the mixing spoon as you continue to stir).

Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring until all traces of the yellow yolk (your yellow balls of threaded fury) disappear into the creamed butter mixture. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt, shaking loose all of your lingering worries and regrets.

Add the sifted dry ingredients to the creamed butter mixture until your worry and fury become a tough and sticky muddle. Then add the mashed banana and watch as the tangles smooth themselves out.

As you continue stirring allow your muscles to work out their knots. Giving into the ache and exhaustion, gently fold in the chopped walnuts as if they were the seeds of hope.

Pour the finished batter into a large buttered loaf pan. Finally, sprinkle a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon and butter (worked into a sugary crumble – approx. 3 tbsp. sugar, 1-2 tsp. cinnamon and 1 tbsp. Butter), like a refreshing rain, onto the top of the banana loaf.

Bake for approximately 1 hour, or until set. (When done, a knife inserted into the center should come out clean, and the top should be sticky and caramelized.) Remove from the heat and let cool completely before slicing. Observe how a steady burn can leave behind fertile ground for a fresh start. Enjoy!

Per serving: (assuming approximately 14 slices) 277 calories, 2 g fiber and 5 g protein.


Simply Life said...

Oh wow, that looks delicious!

Pam said...

So sorry for your troubles...sending prosperous blessings your way! Congrats on the Foodie Blogroll!

Grace A. Kratzer said...

Simply Life - It certainly was one of my better banana bread creations... Then, this morning, at the urging of a friend I tried slicing it thin and toasting it (in a toaster oven since it was a bit flimsy for the pop-up toaster) with a bit of butter. It was very much like a crispy banana cookie and I have to admit, I was a big fan.

Pam - Thank you for the lovely wishes and pleasant thoughts! It is appreciated more than you know.

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