There's something about having home-baked treats on the kitchen counter that reassures me I haven't totally effed up this parenting thing yet. In the middle of policing superhero jumps off the couch and pulling little boy wrestlers off each other, handing my kids a cookie or a slice of banana bread made in my own kitchen with my own hands feels like a small slice of mom success. As I watch them walking around the house, home-baked yumminess in one hand and a favourite toy car in the other, I can't help but think to myself: nailed it. For that moment anyway. Even if the crumbs that unfailingly trail behind them don't get swept up until tomorrow.
This moist banana bread is made with whole wheat flour and chopped walnuts for that lovely it's-cake-but-it's-healthy lie that works so nicely (that's one of those little white lies that's okay). It mixes up easily with common baking pantry ingredients and uses up about three of those hideous overripe bananas in the fruit bowl no one wants to eat. The house smells amazing when it's in the oven, all comfy and calming and beautiful. It's like the smell of surviving parenthood for yet another day.
Here's how I made it:
fills a standard loaf pan (approx. 9" x 5" x 3")
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups mashed overripe banana (about 3 large)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
In a medium mixing bowl, I whisked together the flour, baking soda and salt and set it aside. In my stand mixer (a hand-held mixer works fine too), I creamed the sugar, butter and vegetable oil. I added the eggs and banana and beat until smooth. The dry ingredients were added gradually to the wet ingredients, beating well between additions. I scraped down the sides of the bowl and beat again until smooth. The chopped walnuts were stirred in last. Then the batter was poured into my well-greased loaf pan and baked in the centre of a preheated 350 (F) degree oven for 60-65 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre came out clean.
What do you make in your kitchen that makes you feel like you're totally nailing it? And by "it" I mean parenthood, juggling two jobs or whatever craziness you've got going on.