Sunday, February 2, 2014

Week 5 of 52: Fucking Delicious Banana Bread Recipe for the days you feel like not leaving the fucking house

Ok, as you are all aware, I have depression.  And that sometimes results in me not being able to leave the house. Although in all fairness I'm an introvert and need my down time so sometimes it is hard to determine what brings about my need to isolate myself from the world. Now, before you get all self-righteous and tell me that I can physically leave the house it's not like my legs are broken, I will try to explain it to you in a way your "never-been-touched-by-depression" mind can process. Let's pretend my mind has the function of legs, well my mind is broken. Get it?! Good. Moving on.

So today I woke up to the smell of rotting bananas. So instead of getting all down on myself about my tendency to forget to eat food before expiry, I decide I'm going to make banana bread!

Love the smell of rotting fruit in the morning!
Banana bread is awesome! I know this to be true because I tend to eat it all in one sitting. So I pull up my favourite banana bread recipe to see if I have all the ingredients.  

FYI - my favourite place for starter recipes tends to be AllRecipes.com. I call them starter recipes because they are so easy to follow and so not intimidating. Good things for the newbie baker in me.

Because I have been baking seriously for about a year now, I have acquired quite the collection of baking essentials, so I was feeling fairly confident that I would be able to make this recipe without having to go to the grocery store. Important after yesterday's grocery store incident (more on that in a bit).

Ingredient FAIL! Not enough butter. Actually it is probably best to say no butter because I'm not sure how long that butter has been sitting in my fridge for...

Butter fucking sucks! I only ever use it sometimes in baking which isn't enough to keep a steady supply of it in my kitchen.

I weigh my options...ok, there really are no options, I need butter.

I really don't want to leave the house! Ok, let me explain. But first a disclaimer: I don't think I will be able to find the words to accurately describe the mortification of yesterday's incident, but I will try so you will get why I'm being extra whiny about not wanting to leave the house.

So yesterday, I didn't feel like leaving the house but needed to. I needed to eat and I had no food in the kitchen and I ran 13k earlier that day so I really needed to eat.  So I dragged my ass out of bed and got ready to leave the house.

I had been napping in bed ever since my post-run shower and my hair was "wavy". Read: bed head. I tried brushing it but really that never helps. So I threw it back in a pony tail and decided I was going for that messy pony look. Although if you checked out my face you would know that wasn't exactly true. I'm a stomach sleeper which makes all the blood pool around my eyes, which basically forms these puffy skin clouds that hug my eyeballs. Yeah, I looked like shit. But I was all "I can make it to the store, grab some food and get back without running into anyone." Also I put in my ear buds to drone out the world with music. Music gives me special powers to ignore all things in my immediate radius.

My special powers work up until I enter the produce section at Market on Yates.

So I'm rocking out in the produce section checking out the Kale selection (yeah I'm cool like that) when I look up and see a totally smoking hot guy. And not just any smoking hot guy but the guy I'm currently crushing on. And that's when I realize my special powers aren't working because he catches my eye and waves hi. And he is smiling, he looks so happy, so opposite of me. I fake a smile and wave. Worst of all is he is not doing one of those 'wave bys', which in all honestly is all I'm capable of at that moment, nope instead he is displaying conversation initiation behaviour. You know, like sustained eye contact and moving closer. I reluctantly take out my headphones.

He asks me about the run I went on earlier that day. Don't be surprised! Any guy I have a crush on talks to me about running!!

Of course I'm reluctant to get too close to him because...um...hi...I look like shit and I'm still hoping he will keep walking by and not want to talk even though we already are engaged in conversation (yes, I'm delusional that way).

So I'm not sure how this happened exactly but a pile up happened in the aisle where I was standing and this old woman got tangled up in my basket trying to get by me. The only way to disentangle her was to move out of the aisle and stand beside my crush. So I managed to maneuver out of the stifling mess in the most flustered possible way-taking huge breaths and sighs and then...I blurt out the word "Cedar!" Ok, it was more like yelling.

He just stared at me for a moment, I think trying not to laugh too hard at my complete and utter social ridiculousness, I mean who just yells random words like that? Although it is not random, I am referring to a race coming up next weekend and he knows that. But I guess I didn't need to yell that at him while standing right in front of him. We talk about the race briefly the whole time he is smiling and I'm pretty sure holding back laughter and that just makes me more animated and spastic (naturally). Finally we end the dreadful conversation. I go back to the produce section and hope I can grab my stuff and get through check-out without having to see him again.

Yes, I feel your pain.
Yeah right! I approach the check-out and there he is. So I go into the line beside him and turn away from him, hoping he won't notice me. I peruse the impulse buy magazines and catch the cover of the February 2014 Vogue - Lena Dunham, of Girls awesomeness, looking all wide-eyed and uncomfortable stares back at me. And yes, I'm realizing the irony that I am having a Hannah moment. Only I'm lacking her verbal panache so I'm more feeling like her boyfriend Adam. Fuck.

As I go to pay, I see my crush out of the corner of my eye leaving and he makes sure to wave and smile goodbye to me. I wave weakly back and I swear I see him laugh at me as he leaves. Well, that's when I decide I'm going to take my sweet ass time paying and leaving the store because I am not going to run into him on the walk home. Isn't it cute how I think I can control these things?!

I'm now convinced the universe wants to make a fool out of me because as I head home I see him at the crosswalk ahead. I turn my stride into a snail pace and thankfully the light changes and he crosses. And my god! He is the slowest walker ever, it doesn't help that he is checking his text messages while walking!! Seriously I could have crawled faster.

After what feels like ten minutes have passed, I finally get home having successfully avoided an extension to our previous awkward encounter. I muse that a non-depressed Andrea would have walked up and playfully accused him of stalking her and then invited him over for dinner. And that Andrea would probably now be in the middle of a mind-blowing sex-a-thon with said smoking hot guy instead of trying to currently come up with inventive ways to make banana bread without having to leave the fucking house. I can't wait until non-depressed Andrea returns in all her glory. Today is just not that day. Soon though, I'm sure of it.

Ok, back to banana bread! I turn to Google and ask it for substitutes for butter in baking banana bread. And I come across this lovely little site called PopSugar and it tells me I can use applesauce and it also gives me a plan for a 30 day squat challenge. Think I just found my new favourite website.

So off I go and make my banana bread. FYI baking is always done best while listening to music - thank you Songza for the inspiration.

Fucking Delicious Banana Bread Recipe


Ingredients (substitutions in parentheses) :
2 cups all-purpose flour (gluten free all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter (applesauce)
¾ cup brown sugar (cane sugar)
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas

ADD ONS (optional)
½ cup chocolate chips + ¼ cup sprinkle on top
½ cup black chia seeds
2 tablespoons vanilla

Steps to successful banana bread baking:
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1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan. I used coconut oil and greased a 8x11 baking pan.
2.     In large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, chocolate chips, and chia seeds.
3.     In a separate bowl, cream together butter (applesauce) and brown sugar. Stir in eggs (beat them first), mashed bananas, and vanilla until well blended.
4.     Stir banana mixture into flour mixture. Stir just to moisten (don’t over stir it!). Pour batter into greased pan.
5.     Bake in oven for approximately 55-65 minutes. If you don't have a convection oven I move the tray to the other rack around the 30 minute mark. This helps even out the heat distribution.
6.     Let bread cool for at least 10 minutes before eating otherwise you will burn yourself!!!

Note: Using applesauce as a substitute for butter makes for a very dense bread. Still moist just dense. I thought the dense over fluffy was a reasonable tradeoff for not having to leave the house.

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