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Author Notes: I really hate to see food go bad. At some point a ways back I noticed a stray container of ricotta in the fridge approaching its expiration. Rather than toss it I zipped out to the store to buy all things to make a lasagna bolognese so that I could incorporate the ricotta into a recipe. So rather than throw away a couple of dollars worth of food, I created an errand to go spend exponentially more than a couple of dollars on more food to make a recipe that took the better part of a day.
The lasagna turned out beautifully, though.
So the other day that bunch of too-ripe bananas had me bemused. I won’t even consider eating a fruit even a moment past ripe, and these guys were a little beyond that. But I really wanted to avoid tossing out a whole bunch of bananas. I couldn’t figure out a way to integrate them into a savory dish. Well, not one that I could even think about wanting. I bandied about the idea of peeling them, chopping them into chunks and freezing them for future smoothies, but I had done that a few times already and I felt like being more kitchen-y than that.
I was going to have to bake.
I decided on a bread. That seemed less daunting than any other fruit-related baking project as it can fall onto the more savory side of the fence.
I poked around the cupboards and unearthed bourbon-soaked vanilla beans and candied walnuts. Done deal.
The recipe was fairly simple to execute and turned out beautifully. —F for Food
Makes 1 loaf
- 1 3/4 cups sifted flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup shortening
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, well beaten
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2-3 bananas)
- 1 bourbon-vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
- 1/2 cup coarsely broken candied walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Cream the shortening, add the sugar gradually and continue working until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the flour mixture alternately with the bananas, a small amount at a time, beating after each addition until smooth.
- Fold in vanilla bean scrapings and walnuts.
- Turn into a well-greased bread pan (8 ½ X 4 ½ X 3 inches) and bake about one hour and ten minutes.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Walnuts
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Vanilla