This banana bread is ‘the one’
Seven years of living in Australia have uncovered the following observations:
- It is common to start sentences with “Look…” but it is not meant to sound angry or confrontational. It’s just another form of saying “Well…” or “I think…” I used to get taken aback at the seeming harshness but I learnt to filter the word somewhere along its journey from ear to brain to heart. (No they’re not trying to start a fight, it’s just a drumroll announcing the arrival of their next statement.)
- You will never be more than 5 minutes away from a Thai restaurant, and some of them warrant a visit just for the name alone: I present Thai Me Up and Thaitanic as two opposite extremes of the pun.
- When turning left or right at an intersection and the light is green for you, note that pedestrians also have a green light allowing them to cross the exact road you are entering. Most confusing at first, and in fact is No.2 on the Top 10 misunderstood road rules in NSW, second only to Roundabouts.
- Paying $4.50 for a slice of banana bread is considered perfectly acceptable on the Lower North Shore.
We didn’t have banana bread in Glasgow. We had cake, pastries, buns, pies, regular bread and deep-fried Mars bars. But this strange and delightful bread-cake hybrid was something completely new. When I saw that almost every café in the area had banana bread on its menu, I realised this was some kind of Sydney staple and I did what anyone who was temporarily unemployed and permanently frugal would do: I asked the internet to provide me with a recipe so I could attempt to make it myself.
Now, I’m a decent cook and I’ll say so myself, but I’m not much of a baker. So I must have Googled ‘Easy banana bread recipe’. Or perhaps (because I had an impatient 2 year old assistant and was also 7 months pregnant): ‘Quick and easy banana bread recipe with minimal washing up’.
From the numerous results, I picked this one partly because I liked the name of the website (Fig & Cherry) and partly because my senses were drawn to the words ‘dense’ and ‘moist’. But mostly because it hit the minimal washing up requirement in the very first two lines:
“You know the best thing about this recipe? Actually, there’s two things; you don’t need an electric mixer and you only need one bowl.” – Fig & Cherry’s Dense & Moist Banana Bread
Bingo! I didn’t bother reading any of the other recipes. After the 50 minutes of baking time, my dubious assistant and I peered into the oven and yelped with glee at the beautiful, golden brown, buttery exquisiteness with the toasted walnuts on the top that looked almost like the picture in the recipe! Safe to say, no wire-rack cooling took place. We got stuck right in. I never had to Google another banana bread recipe ever again. This one’s a keeper.
I’ve made this over and over for seven years with different variations and it has always turned out delicious. Every single time. I could attribute this to the Fairy spell we chant as we place anything into the oven: ‘Wisha wisha wish-a/ Make this deli-cious!’ but I’ve shared the recipe with friends and family who also agree it is truly banana bread heaven and they don’t (didn’t) know our Fairy spell.
I love it because you can add whatever you have lying around – shredded coconut, different types of nuts, pumpkin seeds, cocoa powder, some cheeky chocolate chips, sultanas….the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Oh, and basic food science. And I suppose a wee bit of common sense. But really, the loaf tin is your oyster. We made some recently and I didn’t have enough flour, so we (my now 9 year old assistant and I) decided to use a half flour – half rolled oats combo and yet again, the result was the most requested morning tea item that week.
Look, just trust me on this one. Try the recipe. It will make you yelp again and again. You will not be disappointed.
©2017 Seetha Dodd