Monday, May 12, 2008

Moody Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

To call today a lemon of a day would be an understatement. Today definitely registers more along the lines of a rotten banana day. Rotten bananas, standing alone, are far worse than lemons. If life hands you lemons, you can make lemonade, or marinate shrimp, or brighten up your soup, and some people even like eating lemons plain (try a slice dipped in sugar for a pucker-inducing snack). But how gross are blackened bananas? Their pungent, overripe smell clings to everything. Their unpleasant squishiness renders them completely inedible. I don't even like to handle those old bananas with the shriveled flesh and glistening, stringy innards, let alone eat them. If that doesn't deter you then their grainy, mealy texture, and acrid sweetness certainly will. Rotting bananas definitely serve as a fitting metaphor for the worst day ever. But I have never encountered a cloud without a glint of silver lining, or a sour lemon without a higher calling, and just as surely, those gnat-attracting bananas at the bottom of the fruit bowl can be transformed into something wonderful. And you know what? I'd much rather have a hot, sticky slice of chocolate chip banana bread than a boring old glass of lemonade anyways, so bring on the blackened banana days!

When life hands you squishy, disgusting, blackened bananas, make chocolate chip banana bread!


1 c. sugar
1/2 c. softened butter
1 1/2 c. blackened (ok, don't go crazy here, they can't actually be rotten) bananas (3-4)
2 eggs
1 1/4 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
cold cream cheese or cold butter for serving

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a loaf pan. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat the eggs with the mashed bananas and then add the egg mixture to the butter and sugar. Beat well. In a separate bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips. Fold GENTLY into the wet ingredients until just mixed. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake 45min-1hr. Cool 10 min and serve slathered with cold cream cheese or butter. Feel mood improve immediately.

This post is dedicated to Amon. It really should be a posting of brown-sugar cornmeal biscuits since those were his specialty, but life handed me blackened bananas, not cornmeal. Besides, he was the only one that knew the secret to the perfecting his biscuits, and he has taken the secret to the grave! Maybe one day I will figure out how to replicate those biscuits riddled with pockets of caramelized brown sugar, but until then he will have to be content with my dedication of banana bread. And as someone who lived a mellow, yet rich and full life that I hope to aspire to, I think he'd be quite pleased with this recipe.