Monday, May 06, 2013

Banana Nut Bread (Page 666)

  • Date: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 -- 6pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Book: Gourmet Today
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B+

For many staple baking items (chocolate chip cookies, red velvet cake, cream cheese frosting, pancakes, pie crust, croissants, etc) I have a favorite recipe that I go back to every time. Some of the recipes I wrote myself. Some I found along the way and have never tasted one I liked better. But there are a few basic baking items for which I have yet to find my ideal recipe. Banana bread is one of those items. It's a shame because I love banana bread and we always have a stash of over-ripe bananas in our freezer for just this purpose. I have tried dozens of recipes, and mostly they are good, but just not perfect. I think the source of the problem is that years ago I did taste the perfect banana bread. It was at a bed and breakfast somewhere in the Northeast (Vermont? New Hampshire? I don't remember.). The banana bread they served for breakfast was perfect: buttery and moist with tremendous banana flavor. Slightly crispy around the edges but tender inside. It was great. And, like an idiot, I didn't ask for the recipe. Now, years later, I don't even know what state that bed and breakfast was in. But I do remember the banana bread, and how no other banana bread has ever lived up to it.

With high hopes, I was eager to give this recipe a try. This recipe was for a standard, no frills banana bread, which is the way I like it! I beat together butter and sugar, then added the eggs and bananas. I alternated adding the buttermilk and dry ingredients (cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg), then stirred in the nuts. I put it in a prepared loaf pan and baked it until it was done! This banana bread was tasty -- fairly moist with a good banana flavor. I liked it a lot. Indeed, my special gentleman and I demolished the entire loaf frighteningly fast. But it still didn't live up to my banana bread ideal. It could have been moister with a more buttery, banana-y flavor. It was very good, but not fantastic, so I suppose I will keep searching...

This recipe isn't online.

36 recipes down, 1070 to go!

I have done a terrible job documenting this pregnancy, which I am sure I will someday regret. I am going to try to do better. I will be 33 weeks pregnant tomorrow. I am delighted to still be pregnant. I worried a lot about our twins potentially arriving premature and having significant health problems due to prematurity. But at this point they are still in there and looking great! Long-term health problems related to prematurity are very unlikely now, even if the twins were born this week.

One of my doctors says that making it to 32 weeks is the silver medal of twin pregnancy. So when I hit 32 weeks my special gentleman had a medal ceremony for me! Here's a picture of my 32 week belly:

At our 32 weeks growth ultrasound the girls were almost 4.5 pounds each! They are big. Baby A was in the 63rd percentile and Baby B in the 69th percentile for weight, for a singleton! And they look healthy. I am going to the doctor at least once a week now, for non-stress tests, ultrasounds, etc. It's a lot of time at the doctor, but I find it reassuring to see them often and know that they are doing well.

As for me, I am feeling better than I expected. I actually feel better now that I did 8 weeks ago. In reality, probably I am doing worse, but I have learned better how to live within my physical limitations, so I feel better. Walking and standing are extremely difficult and lead to feeling bad very quickly. So I do those things as little as possible, and I feel pretty good. My life is very sedentary these days. I am working from home as much as possible. I do prenatal yoga a couple times a week and prenatal water aerobics once a week, but other than that I don't make any attempts to exercise. Walking at the grocery store became an impossibility a few weeks back. By the time I got to the back of the store I would invariably be having contractions. Luckily our grocery store has motorized carts!

Walking is hard, so mostly I just don't do it. I stay home a lot and sit at my desk when I feel well enough, or lie on the couch or in bed when I don't. I think I have been very lucky so far. A lot of twin moms suffer from terrible back and joint pain, as well as miserable acid reflux. I have been blessed so far with very little pain and no reflux, which I am told is highly unusual. All in all, I feel pretty good.

My goal is to keep these babies cooking until 36 weeks (the gold medal of twin pregnancy!) but at this point I feel fairly ready for whatever happens.


Karen Shaffer said...

You look great! And congrats on everyone being healthy!

Teena said...

Thanks Karen!