Tuesday, October 31, 2006

How can a person screw up Banana Bread?

At what age in a woman's life, does she sit herself down and say 'It's time to start baking?'

For me, this time has not yet come, and after last night's events, I am doubtful that it ever will!

Now... baking might not seem like a feat for some, but for me, it is not my speciality. I mean I can make the store bought mix for muffins where you add an egg and some water, but baking from scratch, Grandma Wilson style, is not something I do: EVER.

However, I did take a Banana Bread recipe from my MIL (mother-in-law) about a year ago, and I had good intentions of making the bread long before now, but in my true procrastination fashion, I just never got around to it!

So... last night was 'THE NIGHT'!

Before I begin, I would like to give a little shout out to my good friend Kristy Shag-nasty Shaughnessy, thanks to the 3 months that she lived at our house, I had all the necessary baking ingredients in my cupboard: baking soda, baking powder, flower and sugar - she bought us everything when she was living with us - so without her, this Banana Bread would not have been possible.

I carefully skimmed the recipe to ensure that I had all the necessary ingredients: flour, baking powder & soda, salt, sugar, eggs, milk, vegetable oil... it was all there.

So I start measuring away, dumping in a few cups of flower, some sugar, etc. Now... I thought the recipe was going along just fine, when I realize that I have just put in 3 TBSP's of baking powder, as opposed to what the receipe called for: 3 TSP's.

Tablespoon-teaspoon, tomato-tamato... right?
I wish!

Once I recognize this error, I immediately panic... SHIT. How could this have happened? As I stare in my big mixing bowl, everything is white: flour, sugar, salt, powder... DAMN!

I rationalize the situation and figure I can try to scoop out where I think I tossed the baking powder... close to the left side. I decide to scoop out a tablespoon and a half into the garbage... that should account for the excess of what the recipe called for... hopefully.

I pause for a moment and realize PC has his Mom on speaker phone in the basement... I go quickly to the basement and pose the question 'HYPOTHETICALLY' to her: what if a person put 3 tbsp's instead of 3 tsp's in banana bread, is that bad?

To which I hear: Ahhhh? Well.... hmmmmmmmmmmm! Do you have 6 bananas? You could double the recipe?

Me: NO... I only 3 (practically in tears by now, how could I screw up a recipe entitled: EASY BANANA BREAD???).

We discuss the fact that I have removed what I think was the baking powder, and she agrees that it should be OK. But before closing the conversation she adds: Make sure you mix it up REALLY good! GOOD LUCK! (All the while she was probably thinking: Son... whatever you do, don't eat the bread! It is liable to kill you!)

I go back upstairs, thinking great, CRISIS AVERTED, and continue on with the wet ingredients portion of the recipe.

An egg, some mashed bananas, and vegetable oil. Done. Done. and Done. Beat them up, add the dry stuff, beat again... into the pan and in the oven - fingers crossed (make that double crossed!).

I decide, while waiting for the bread to bake, I will copy the recipe onto one of my recipe cards and put it in my little box. So I sit down to do that only to discover that where the recipe was folded in half, it called for 3/4s of a cup of milk:

How could I have missed this?

It was 35 minutes into the bake cycle, there was no adding it now. I break the news to PC that the bread has no chance now, and he accepts the fact that he will have to have a mini chocolate bar for dessert.

However, in an effort to see what my masterpiece will become, I let it bake for the entire time, and its looking like banana bread and smelling like banana bread. The timer goes off, the tooth pick comes out semi-clean. I let it cool for 15 minutes, cut it open... only to find the middle is doughie... but the other then that, the rest tastes not too bad, if I do say so myself!

I bring a piece down to PC, and he proclaims: It's not THAT bad!

So I salvage the ends into a plastic container, throw out the middle, and VOLIA, my first baking experience! It wasn't the greatest, but at least I didn't burn it black, like they show in the movies.

Perhaps not a tale for the WIFE OF THE YEAR award, but it could have been worse. When I left this morning, PC was in a deep sleep... let's hope he's awake when I get home, and not dead!

NOTE: Birthday wishes go out to Dad C.... he turns a little bit older today, with the rest of the Halloween skeletons! My uncle Larry also shares this day! Enjoy your day BOYS... try not to be too scary this evening!