When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. Isaiah 43:2

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Olive Oil Banana Bread

I am a hoarder of food. I don't like to waste and I can't stand to throw things away that could be used later. Thus the 7,000 (or so) frozen overripe bananas in our chest freezer chillin' alongside our half a steer's worth of beef, and several bags of bread from the bread store (for those days mommy is too lazy (or unprepared) to make her own bread.)

Hubby: Everything in the freezer smells like bananas. Can't we just get rid of them? They've been in there forever.

Me: Don't worry honey. All the beef in there is vacuum sealed and I will just make a big batch of banana bread here one of these days...

This conversation repeats weekly.

In comes Pastor Jim with his, "Get out there and demonstrate God's Love" message this morning...and...Ah ha! I can show people God's love and make my husband happy too! Banana bread for everyone!

And so we get home from church today and I get the kids all suited up for mixing time with mommy. We pray about who we should give banana bread to. We are all ready to go. Until, I realize, I have no butter. No butter, no margarine, no Crisco, nothing creamy whatsoever to bake into our banana bread...

Now, I have one of the most fabulous banana bread recipes on the planet. It calls for A WHOLE LOT OF BUTTER. So, what to do, what to do...

Hubby: Go borrow from the neighbors!

Me: I CANNOT borrow one of the ingredients to my bread that I am supposed to be GIVING to others as a sign of God's love. That's like saying, "excuse me, can I help you fix your car? Oh and can I borrow the money to get it done?"

No. I am not borrowing. And I do not want to go to the store on a Sunday with three children in tow. And we have like $10 left in the bank this month anyway. Soooo.

I look in the pantry one more time and what I have a WHOLE lot of is...Kirkland olive oil! Olive oil? Could that work? It might. It is actually probably healthier than butter I think to myself.

First step, "cream butter and sugar together in the bowl." OK, so the kids add the sugar and the olive oil to the bowl and we start mixing, and mixing, and mixing. There is nothing creamy about this mixture. It looks like oil and sugar, mixed together...I could build small oily sugar castles out of it, but surely no good bread could come from such a base.

At this point, I have to consider whether to go on. Do I waste the flour, baking soda, salt, eggs, and bananas (well, we know "wasting" the bananas was not a big consideration, but you know what I'm getting at)? Or do I stop here, count our losses and get some butter on the 1st.


Well, let's just give it a try.

We mix, mix, stir, stir, squish the thawed bananas into the bowl (like "poop" the kids say! Gross.) Happy kids, muffin tins covered in batter, loaf pans half full and ready to go into the oven...and then we put them in the oven to bake. A sad anthem rolled around in my head as I put the mixture into the oven--like I was putting the sad, sad olive oily batter to rest once and for all.

I checked on our concoction a few times as it baked...and it started to turn much browner (more brown?) than I had ever seen my beloved buttery banana bread turn--stupid olive oil. So I took them out to cool and sadly sighed...what a waste. Did I mention I hate to waste?

Well, as I got my trusty knife out to pry them from the sides of their tins, something strange happened. I didn't have to pry. They just slipped right out. And they were so soft and fluffy...what was going on here?

And then I tasted them...and they tasted awesome! Even my hubby said so...well, he ate it. He didn't say anything really. But he ate the whole thing, and for him, that's a big compliment.

And that's the story of the olive oil banana bread and muffins. I'll post the recipe soon and you won't think I'm quite so crazy when you see 2 1/2 cups of olive oil listed as the second ingredient! :)

Image taken from addicted to costco.com

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brooke said...

Don't you love it when stuff actually works out for once!!

Janelle said...

loved the story. :)

Lynette said...

Funny and yummy! We love banana bread!

Aunt LoLo said...

Oh! I suppose the recipe isn't up yet...

Oh well - you've given me the COURAGE to go make banana bread with my olive oil. I went to the grocery store yesterday, with two littles in tow, and FORGOT to buy shortening. DOH. I'm not going back for at least another week!

Thanks again!

J said...

I just saw this - I actually have a banana bread recipe that calls for vegetable oil, so it makes sense that olive oil might work. It's good that the olive flavor worked well in the bread. Kudos on the kitchen creativity!