Monday, January 14, 2008

Yes, We Have Bananas

This is the first year since 1998 that my banana plants bore fruit. With the mild winters we've had lately, I finally got a bumper-crop of tiny little bananas. It took weeks for them to ripen, but suddenly they all turned yellow at once. They are very sweet--much better than the store-bought ones.
There are too many to eat, so I am making banana bread. What doesn't fit in the bread, gets peeled and tossed into the freezer for the next loaves.
Here's my recipe:

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

⅓ cup vegetable oil
½ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas
1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup hot water
½ cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

2. In a large bowl, beat oil and honey together. Add eggs, and mix well. Stir in bananas and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt. Add baking soda to hot water, stir to mix, and then add to batter. Blend in chopped nuts. Spread batter into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan.

3. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 1/2 hour before slicing.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Frostbitten Garden

One of the hazards of creating a tropical garden outside of the tropics is that cold weather can sweep in and wipe everything out. We tried to wrap and cover as much as we could, but the temperature went down to 25 degrees.
I raised that papaya plant from a seed. The plant grew to a gigantic size, and started flowering and producing fruit. I was so hoping I'd get my own home-raised papayas before we had our first real cold snap. Well, as least I had a bumper crop of bananas this year--yummy little bananas that also made delicious banana nut bread.