Last night it finally cooled off here in Minneapolis. Since moving here from Milwaukee five weeks ago, the weather certainly hasn’t been unbearable, but we have had a few hot days and it’s nice to feel the cool autumn air rolling in. One of the things I love about the Midwest is the changing of seasons. I feel more appreciative of everyday, whether it be because it’s pouring rain outside and my favorite movie is on HBO or because the leaves have started to fall from the trees and the only sound I hear on my walk to work is the crunching of them underfoot. That said, today I turned off the air conditioning and opened the windows with the hope of keeping it that way until my apartment building turns on the heat. I love the fresh air (even though my sinuses do not) and my cat is happy to lay her chubby body in the tiny sliver of open window ledge. It’s also cool enough in my apartment that turning the oven on to bake banana bread is actually a welcome source of warmth.
I rarely ever bake. In fact, I could probably count on two hands the number of things I have ever baked, and the list would narrow down to one hand when counting the things that actually turned out. Every once in a while I decide that I’m going to start baking more, which generally means a holiday desert and maybe a tin of muffins a couple weeks later. I’ve made this decision again, but have become self-aware enough not to believe that I’ll actually follow through. So don’t be surprised if you don’t see another baked goods recipe for six months.
While I feel capable of throwing together a complete meal on the fly (or at the very least with little outside help), baking recipes are not something I feel at all confident in concocting without precise directions from a pre-written recipe. Nonetheless, I enjoy adapting baking recipes to fit my needs. In this case, I adapted an already adapted recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I substituted 1/4 tsp vanilla powder for 1 tsp vanilla extract, used spiced rum instead of bourbon, and threw in about 1 tsp of molasses. I also nixed the egg and used commercial Ener-G egg-replacer, which seems to me to be a rather unnatural product, but the fact is that I’ve had a box of it in the cupboard forever and it makes the most sense for me to use it up as opposed to simply throwing it away. But feel free to use your choice of egg, applesauce, or whatever… or just leave it out altogether, as bananas themselves are often used as a replacement for eggs.
This bread smells so good while it’s baking, and since the batter contains no raw eggs, feel free to lick the spoon (and the bowl). It’s not as sweet as I expected it to be and the loaf came out rather stout, but it wasn’t a total failure. I was probably a bit too impatient in slicing it after it came out of the oven, which is why it looks crumbly, but hey, I’m new to this baking stuff. Overall, I’m content with the results, although I do feel like it wasn’t quite right and therefor am not going to post the recipe. Still, I will enjoy it for breakfast for the next few days.