Wow, it's been a week. I don't want to get too deep into the details but let me just say that some tears have been shed. As I walked into work this morning, I had an incredible urge to bake as it always helps to calm and relax me. While other more hard-core people may turn to hard liquor, I get my fix mixing ingredients together in my stand mixer. Go figure.
Once I got settled at my desk, I immediately asked for suggestions to anyone that was within earshot. The first request I heard was banana bread, which was suggested by Scott. About the same time, I heard Julia (yes, there's two of us) ask for zucchini bread. Hmmm... banana bread and zucchini bread. Both have basically the same ingredients right? Maybe they could be put merged together?
After work I headed to the store to get zucchini and bananas -- but whoa there cowgirl! I couldn't use just any bananas, I needed brown, shunned, over ripe bananas and finding them was going to be a challenge. The first store I went to sometimes has older bananas available. Ugly ones with big brown age spots sold for mere pennies on the pound, but no such luck. All they had were pristine, yellow and green bananas with nary a freckle. What kind of grocery store was this?
I left and went to the grocery store that was up the street. The best I found was some very ripe plantains and for a brief moment I wondered if they would work. I regained my focus and went to the customer service counter where I was greeted promptly, "What can I do for you?". "Well," I said, "I would like some black, overripe bananas or yellow ones with a lot of brown spots. I don't see any available but I was wondering if maybe you have some in the back, perhaps in the trash." The employee just starred at me, perplexed. "I need to make banana bread," I quickly added. "Ohhhh!" the young lady said with a big smile, "Let's go check in the back!" She lead me though the big, black swinging doors to several waxed produce boxes filled to the top with rotting fruits and vegetables. On top of the one lay a single bunch of bananas. They were well on their way to being rotten but were still pretty yellow. She put them and another small, brownish bunch into a bag and told me they would only be ten cents a pound. Bonus!
I used a very promising and highly rated Banana Zucchini Bread recipe (courtesy of RecipeZaar) and decided I'd make it sans the nuts, per Scott's request. Instead, I added a cup of mini chocolate chips. To mash the bananas I used my newest kitchen tool, my super deluxe angled potato ricer. (Just as an aside, this old fashioned tool makes the most beautiful and healthful mashed potatoes I've ever made.) It did a great job of mashing the bananas into a big bowl of banana GOOdness.
Overall, I think this was a fair recipe. I'm curious though if I had older, less ripe bananas, if it would have been better. I'm hopeful that it sates both Scott and Julia's cravings.