Monday, January 3, 2011

Boozy Banana Bread

I find myself in a wonderful temporary situation where I have been laid off, but because of a severance package I'm getting paid until sometime in late spring. I'd go into more detail, but I fear angering the corporate gods and losing this windfall.

So now is the time I should be doing all sorts of things I've always wanted to do if only I didn't have to work. I'd like to bake. I'd like to drink in the mornings. I'd like to visit friends for "coffee."

This morning's Boozy Banana Bread project will allow me to do all three of those things. This Roast Banana-Pumpkin Breakfast Bread recipe from 101 Cookbooks has always been my favorite banana bread recipe. Probably because of the rum raisins. You can go to her site for the recipe, but I have a few thoughts after the ingredient picture on how to make this Glass Half Full style:

Let's start with the bananas: Banana bread is a perfect recipe for people like me because it makes use of bananas that are past their prime. Letting the bananas get overly ripe is actually a good thing for banana bread. I had four bananas and the other two are going in the freezer for when I make this bread again. It's really gross how black they turn in the freezer, but it makes good banana bread. It also means you can have the ingredients on hand so you can make this on days you don't want to leave the house. Now that I don't have to work, I find I can go days without leaving the house.

Coconut Milk: Not much to say about this except when you open the can you'll find some thick white stuff and some watery stuff in there. I try to get a mixture of both in my half cup.

Pumpkin Seeds: I have made this without pumpkin seeds and it tasted pretty much the same. I had pumpkin seeds on hand, so I used them. I toasted them in the toaster oven for two minutes while the bananas were baking.

Raisins: The recipe calls for golden raisins. I'm sure brown would work, but it might look like you have little black things floating around in your bread. The golden raisins look really pretty in the finished product. And you're going to all this trouble, so do it right.

Rum: This being a blog dedicated to drinking, I have a lot to say about the rum. I use Myers's Original Dark Rum for all my rum baking needs. I also like to drink it with tonic water and lime on hot days, but that's a post for another time. This recipe tells you to boil the raisins in a half cup of rum and then let them soak for an hour. I usually use a little more rum. I'm always tempted to cut the soaking time short, but I don't do it because an hour is about how long it takes for the raisins to soak up all that rum. It also smells really good.

The recipe says to discard the rum that's left when you strain the raisins--not going to happen. I drink that rum or save it to pour over my bread if I accidently over cook it. Sometimes the day after I've made this bread, I'll use the leftover bread and make French toast with it. The leftover rum works well mixed in with the maple syrup. Have I made my point yet? Don't pour out the raisin rum.

The picture below shows my finished product. One to take to a friend and one to use for French toast tomorrow.

Before I go I'd like to say a little bit about the fact that this friend has children and I'm heading over there with rum-loaded banana bread. What if the children ask for a piece of the banana bread? You could reason that there probably isn't any alcohol left in the raisins because they were boiled and baked. Being a little tipsy from drinking my leftover raisin-soaked rum, I tend to disagree.

I like children to like me. Therefore, I don't want to be known as "Mommy's creepy friend who smells funny and tries to make me eat icky fruit bread." I'm stopping at a shop on the way over and picking them up some candy bars.