Today the kids' piano teacher, MaryAnn Wetzler, came to our house, not to give the kids a lesson, but to play duets - with me! Although my fingers were younger, hers seemed more nimble as we played through pages and pages of Gershwin and Bernstein, Copeland and Holst and Faure's hauntingly elegant and soulfully romantic, Pavane. The kids wondered why we kept on playing. Would we ever stop? Perhaps they had yet to fully realize the reason for the repetition and the lessons and the scales. Eventually they would play, not out of duty, but for the pure love of the music - the expression of the soul that comes when the mind and the heart and the body collaborate in perfect harmony. This is why we practice - so that someday we may play, just for the love of it.
Following our duet session, we took refreshment with some homemade banana bread.
After years of making this recipe, which I found in an old church cookbook, I think I have tweaked it into perfection. By substituting in canola oil, white whole wheat flour and reducing the sugar, I think I can now serve this to the kids for breakfast - guilt free!
I always seem to have LOTS of bananas in the freezer (just peel the overripe bananas and put them in a ziploc bag). Defrost them a little bit in the microwave or the counter and then mush them right in the bag. Next, put them in the mixer and beat them until they are lump free.
Add the oil and sugar and beat again until smooth.
Add the eggs, milk and vanilla and mix until smooth, again!
Once all the wet ingredients are well mixed, add the dry ingredients until just blended.
Pour the batter into a greased bread pan and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
Here, the great thing about my KitchenAid mixer is that I can easily triple the batch!
Then I have one loaf for serving, one loaf for keeping and one loaf for sharing!
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a non-stick 5x9x3 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, beat bananas until smooth. Add oil and sugar. Beat until smooth again. Add eggs, milk and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Add dry ingredients to bowl and mix until just combined. Pour into prepared pan. Bake about 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Makes 1 loaf.