I’ve been very strategic about my grocery shopping, trying to figure out which stores will have the lightest traffic and the best layout, so I can get in and out the fastest and encounter the least number of people. (Read this fascinating NYT opinion article on how length of exposure to coronavirus may be more harmful than the fact of exposure.)
Two weeks ago, I settled on La Michoacana Meat Market on Westmoreland, because I needed a mix of fresh produce and canned goods. One of my purchases was a large bunch of very green bananas that I had every intention of making part of a healthy morning routine. Instead, they sat uneaten on the counter until yesterday, by which point they had turned the perfect shade of banana bread black.
My wife doesn’t like nuts in her bread, but I do. So I usually sprinkle some chopped pecans on the top, along with some demerara sugar, before baking. But you can jazz it up how you like: put walnuts, almonds, pecans, or chocolate chips in the batter. And I highly recommend that when you cut yourself a slice on subsequent days, spread both sides with butter and brown it in a pan. Then shave some Mexican chocolate on top. It’s the best.
No-Fail Banana Bread
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds very ripe bananas (3 or 4 very large ones)
1 cup sugar
2/3 cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, knocking out the excess.
In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl, mash bananas with sugar using a fork (a great assignment for the kids), then mix in oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir until just combined.
Pour batter into the pan, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 1/4 hours.