Tuesday, 13 April 2010

"With which I was wont to amuse my inward cravings"

"That night, on going to bed, I forgot to prepare in imagination the Barmecide supper, of hot roast potatoes, or white bread and new milk, with which I was wont to amuse my inward cravings" ~ Jane Eyre, Chapter 8



Clearly Jane was a woman after my own heart. My food-related inward cravings seem to define my life...and today I was inwardly craving a nice big piece of warm banana cake and a cup of tea.

I physically cannot resist a food-related bargain. It is like a sickness. This does become problematic, however, when I am lured in by the man at the market selling bags of bananas for £1. Bananas are something I am fairly picky about; I like them on the green side, when they are firm and don't have that overly cloying banana-y taste and texture. Also, I tend to pile up my fruit bowls sky high, and bananas are not always top on my list to eat when I also have such delights as Pink Lady apples and mangoes. So, inevitably, I end up with browning bananas. Where this would once have been a sad thing (I hate throwing away food), I now relish this process. In fact, I actually bulk buy bananas with the express purpose of letting them go black and squishy. This is because I feel there are few things more delicious than warm banana cake. I suppose this recipe is more of a banana bread, really (hardly any butter in it, so I can even pretend to myself it's healthy), but it's less dry than most - the key I think is not to mash the bananas completely, leaving big chunks of them that will go all gooey and sticky in the oven. Today I decided to add some blueberries to the mixture, which has improved upon what I thought was the unimprovable. Delicious. I also have future plans to try it with cardamom and chocolate chips (in separate cakes).

The only part I did not enjoy was taking the black bananas out of the freezer (I had too many at once so figured I would freeze them - once black already, I assumed no damage would be done). They went all soggy and disgusting and I had to peel them while wet and slimy (the bananas that is, not me). In future I will freeze them without the skins. The banana-y mush in the bowl made me want to be sick a little bit...but the end result tasted amazing. So that is OK then. Thought I'd share that with you...don't be put off please.


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