Tuesday, December 28, 2010

7-11 Snow Day Banana Bread

Until this Monday, I never really internalized what was meant by the concept of being ‘snowed in.’ Once, in college, I was trapped in Wellesley, Massachusetts after a debate tournament and had to survive on peanut butter sandwiches from the dining hall and slept in the double of one of the debate team members, with the teams of Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore, and Princeton.  Combined. But I was really too busy learning the drinking game “I never” (which I played without alcohol, because I’m dork) to get overly anxious about the closed roads.

We’ve had bad snow in the New Jersey area, but the recent 9 foot drifts have been the only time, thus far, that I can recall in my adult life, that I’ve had to face completely impassable roads, and a car that was literally covered in a snowdrift of frozen, rock solid ice.  Despite shoveling during the night, to simply open my door I had to take out the glass from a window, climb through, and then shovel my way BACK to the door, to free myself.
If only I could be a hawk in the snow, and have no need for a car!




I haven’t driven since Boxing Day, and I’m still waiting to get plowed out. There was a wall of ice, kindly left by the township, in front of my car, because I live on one of the few roads that ARE plowed.

I always used to laugh at the people who bought boxes and boxes of frozen pizza, beer, and Doritos every time the weatherman breathed the word ‘snow.’  And people who ‘stocked up’ in general. But now I understand better why, in snow-prone regions of the country, it’s terribly tempting to buy massive quantities of preservative-laden food, in case your door is iced shut, or your car is covered with an impassable drift.

I work from home, so I have been productive, but I do miss the things that make working bearable—going to my stable, my yoga classes, even seeing people at grocery store, Staples, and the post office.  Little breaks during the day and after work.

To break up the monotony of the ‘Snowmageddon,’ and the still-incomplete shoveling I took a slippery walk to the local 7-11 and the Dollar Store.

7-11 Snow Day Banana Bread

The dry

1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour or all-purpose white flour
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

The creamed

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (not chunky)
3/4 cup brown sugar

The wet
2 overripe convenience store bananas
1 large egg
1/2 vanilla, unsweetened almond milk (or soy or dairy-based milk—if you use just regular milk, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract)

Optional
1 teaspoon of cinnamon 




Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch cake pan with parchment or 6-8 muffin tins with cupcake liners.

2. Whisk the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl

3. Pulverize the bananas as much as possible. Mix in the milk (and vanilla, if adding the extract) and the beaten egg.  Cream together the sugar and the applesauce.  Fold into the banana mixture.  Then mix the bowl of the ‘wet’ ingredients (sugar, applesauce, banana, egg, almond milk) into the ‘dry’ (flour, baking powder, salt).

4. Once combined, pour into the pan or muffin liners. You can also use a loaf pan, but that will extend the cooking time.

5. Bake approximately 30 minutes for a cake pan, 20 minutes for muffins, until a toothpick comes out clean. Sprinkle with cinnamon while still warm from the oven. Let cool.  Glory in your power to make something better than a Slurpee from 7-11.

The bread is fairly low in fat and sugar, as well as particularly tasty warm. I estimated that, for 8 servings, it's approximately 200 calories a slice. So it’s a relatively guilt-free indulgence. Just pull your shades down to ignore the mound of snow level with your kitchen windows.
Banana bread is always ugly, and always tasty.  Unlike snow, which is always beautiful, but often a pain.

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