I'm sure that most of you are with friends and family right now, enjoying your presents. However, when you return to the virtual world from the real-life world of Christmas (or in case you have some Christmas downtime), I thought I'd share one more holiday recipe.
I have to say that baking cookies and other treats for people has really helped me feel like I am in the holiday spirit, in a way I haven't in a long time. I was also lucky enough to get a care packages of treats, including some lovely plum jam, from a good foodie friend who cans her own preserves. So in the interest of sharing and caring, it seemed fitting to use some of her jam for this Christmas post.
I must admit, as I wait until I am 'allowed' to go over my father's and stepmother's house at the appointed hour of 1pm, I am nostalgic even for the most imperfect Christmases of my past. I remember one Christmas, the first after my mother's divorce, we went to Washington D.C. on Christmas Day. Although people who deal with the real politics of Washington may chuckle, I loved the pristine serenity of the temple-like monuments, which stood in such stark contrast to my chaotic life at age 13. The next day, I adored the orderly nature of the museums along the Mall. Walking in museums makes you feel as if you are a part of something very important, even if you have nothing particularly important to do.
I remember that Christmas Day, I ate a fruit platter in the hotel dining room as my main meal, wearing red Snoopy Christmas sweats.
I also remember many Christmases with my mom, eating in diners, going to the movies, stopping at the drug store so I could get some extra paperback books or candy as an extra present for myself...and one particularly unwise decision on my part to eat nonpareil mints for my Christmas Day dinner. I used to love mint chocolate before, but now I have, if not an aversion, a slight, nauseating feeling about the flavor combination that everyone else loves so much. Still, it was a memorable Christmas meal, nonetheless!
So eat, drink, be merry, and make this for breakfast tomorrow, since you probably have the day off. Just take it easy on the nonpareils.
Ginger Plum Jam Banana Bread
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
3 large, overripe bananas
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons plum jam
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter or oil a 8X4 loaf pan.
2. Sift the flour, baking soda, sugars, and dry spices together.
3. Mash the bananas, add the eggs, oil, and vanilla and gradually spoon in the dry mixture.
4. Dollop half the mixture into the loaf pan, top with three tablespoons of the jam. Add the rest of the mixture, spoon on three tablespoons of jam. Swirl with a knife, dragging the blade vertically through the loaf.
5. Bake for approximately an hour until a toothpick can be extracted clean. Be careful to impale the bread in an area without jam, for an accurate reading. Cool and serve.