Wednesday, February 11, 2009

packages that care & banana bread

(photo by Julia F.)

I know a girl named Julia and she takes care of me. In college, the front porch of her apartment would suffer the regular collisions of my bike tire as I catapulted myself through her front door and unceremoniously into the middle of whatever she was doing. She was a master of the "Oh Cassie" eye-roll-and-sigh know the one. It was a simultaneous acceptance of and preparation for whatever disaster I was about to inadvertantly wreak upon the normal and manageable rhythm of her life. ( If you know me, you perform it on a twice a day basis at LEAST. )

But Julia was the best at it, so it goes without saying that I owe her one. She recently moved to Kansas City and I decided that I would craft her the ultimate-special-wonderful-care-package-of-joy. Inspiration came by way of the million years old Moosewood Cookbook that has been the cornerstone of my cooking since I was too small to even see above the countertop. I knew as soon as I saw this:

that i had found the magical, integral centerpiece to my care package. Oh, Moosewood. How I love thee.

Moosewood Cookbook Banana Bread


1.5 cups melted butter
1 3/4 cup brown sugar (or 1 1/2 cups honey)
4 eggs, room temperature
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
Grated rind of 1 orange

TO MAKE: Beat these ingredients in large bowl, beginning with sugar or honey and butter, add eggs one-at-a-time. Add remaining ingredients, and beat until light in color.


2 cups whole wheat flower
2 cups white flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon

2 cups well-mashed , ripe banana
soaked in
1 cup strong, black coffee


Add flour mixture and banana stuff alternately to the butter mixture, beginning
and ending with flour (flour-banana-flour-banana-flour). After each addition mix gently to combine, but do not beat
or otherwise overmix--this toughens and dries a cake. Add nuts and raisins last if you want them. Generously butter 2
loaf pans and sprinkle with sesame seeds (they'll stick to the butter). Divide batter and bake at 350 F. for 40-50
minutes or until done. Cool 10 minutes in the pan then remove to wire rack to finish cooling.


Cate said...

Ohhh Moosewood. That cookbook (and Enchanted Broccoli Forest) are two of my absolute favorites! That's so sweet of you!

July Stars said...

This post made me laugh, especially your introduction!

sweeetheartfever said...

cate: oh yes! my long-standing favorite, as well.
i hope you have been getting some good packages out there in Thailand!

july stars: thank you! :) haha--it's all totally true, i swear. i really probably would be either dead or in jail without her.