The recipe for banana loaf says 45 minutes preparation time, and 45 minutes cooking time. Wrong on both counts. More like preparation time 3 weeks, cooking time more than 1 hour.
It all started when we had 3 vrot bananas. So I hauled out the old favourite – Magdaleen van Wyk’s ‘Complete South African Cookbook’.
The recipe called for 2 eggs. That was the first problem. We aren’t egg eaters. So eggs got put on the shopping list and the bananas got turfed. Two weeks later we had more vrot bananas and eggs. We have liftoff! Except that by now, Mr Muffin had polished off the 120g butter. So butter goes on the list and the vrot bananas go into the bin.
Sunday night arrives. Lovely time to bake while watching ‘Strictly come Dancing’ on the side. Vrot bananas, check. Three week old eggs, check. 120g butter, check. 1 cup sugar. Oh heck. I used the last of it in the latest bird feeder mixture. So sugar goes on the shopping list, and I raid the pantry for caster sugar. Success! The flour, despite being 6 months old, is weevil-free, thanks to bay leaves.
The bicarb is not so lucky though. I had no idea weevils fancied bicarb. The mind boggles at the digestion ramifications – of the weevils, that is. Seeing as the recipe called for 5ml, I took a leap of faith, fished out an apparently uncontaminated teaspoonful, and dissolved it in the required 65ml water. It didn’t froth, as I expected it to. Oh well.
I sallied forth and mixed everything as instructed. All went well, except for the moment when the mixer toppled out of the bowl, switched itself on and spattered banana batter over the cookbook, kettle, toaster and fruit bowl (ever tried wiping a pineapple?). 10 minute break in proceedings to clean up the mess. Time for a glass of wine.
I am pleased to report that the olive oil variant of Spray and Cook works well for the ‘pour the batter in a greased loaf tin’ part of the recipe.
‘Until done, about 45 minutes’ is very optimistic. I pierced the loaf with a batter-spattered knife after 3/4 of an hour, and it came out very wet. It took a few 5- and 10-minute stints in the oven (and another glass of wine for me) before said knife came out dry.
Despite all this, a delightfully moist loaf has been produced. And in the time it has taken me to write this, Mr Muffin has gobbled half of it. Now I’ll let him read about its origins…