Simple Banana Loaf

Banana Loaf

It has taken me a while to get this post sorted as I kept forgetting to take pictures for it. But it’s fitting this is my first Edmonds Recipe post as I make banana loaves more than anything else in the kitchen.

I’m not a fussy person, I will eat anything that is put in front of me and enjoy it. I love food and I hate wastage. But that being said, there are certain foods that I just generally avoid. Pumpkin and sweet potato, unless they are in a soup –  then I am all for them, but I really struggle to eat them by themselves and so therefore, rarely buy them. I will also avoid fresh tomato, by avoid I mean I’ll eat it if it is already in my sandwich, but I very rarely add it in there myself.

Lastly, building up to my most shameful food particularity, I can’t stand bananas when they get past a certain point. The point where they get really sweet, and their texture goes from firm to floury and their skin gets thinner. It gives me goosebumps thinking about it. I really don’t want to eat those bananas.

What these bananas are perfect for though, is baking. So rather than throw them in the food waste, I collect them in the freezer. I say collect as sometimes I’ll end up with about five or six in there. On weekends when I have a bit of time, I defrost a few and turn them into a banana loaf.

Banana LoafI make banana loaf about once every two weeks, it usually looks something like this. Sometimes I add chopped nuts on the top, sometimes I mix in chocolate chips and usually I add vanilla and cinnamon.

I reduce the amount of sugar that is in the standard recipe as, one, I’m eating this every week, and two, it really doesn’t need as much sugar as the recipe suggests, the ripe bananas in it add a lot of sweetness too.

When its freshly baked I share it with whoever is around home, but then I cut the rest up and wrap the individual slices in cling wrap. I then freeze them and take them out when I want one. I take a slice to work every now and again, or heat them and put a spoonful of yoghurt on top. Yum! It’s such a versatile, fail safe recipe and it alleviates my banana wastage guilt.

So, here is the recipe:

Edmonds Banana Loaf

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups self-raising flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar ( I only use 1/4 of a cup)

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk

75 grams melted butter

1 cup mashed banana (ripe is best, I usually use 2 large bananas or 3 small)

Optional extras:

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts and pecans work well)

Method:

Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Mix in sugar. In a nother bowl beat eggs. Stir in milk, butter and banana. Mix quickly into dry ingredients, stirring until ingredients are just combined. Mix in any optional extras. Spoon into a greased and lined 22cm loaf tin. Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 45 – 55 minutes. Leave in tin for 10 minutes before turning onto wire rack.

If you are going to freeze it, let the cake cool completely before wrapping in cling film.

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To teach or not to teach?

This is a question I have been mulling over for a while. I loved school (geek alert). I was lucky to have some really inspiring teachers who really made their subjects come to life for me. However when it came to university study, teaching didn’t even cross my mind. Why be a teacher when you could be something much more glamorous like a journalist, translator or advertising exec?

I then spent two years in Japan teaching English on the JET Programme. Two of the best years of my life, I admired my co workers, I loved the foreign community and  thoroughly enjoyed building relationships with my students and watching them learn and succeed. I knew I loved teaching in Japan, but teaching outside Japan? I’m sure it would be a much tougher ask.

In comes Teach First, a charity intent on providing equal education for all. They train young graduates on the job by placing them in tough schools, the idea being that their youth and positive energy will be a motivator for the students. It spoke to me, and for the first time I thought, I could be a teacher, I should be a teacher, should I just do it? But with no guarantee I could stay in London while on the two year program, I had to say no.

So I’m still mulling.. but I have taken a small step. I now teach one on one English lessons to a Japanese family once a week. I support a four year old boy to build confidence in his English listening skills and help his housewife mother practice small talk so she can make conversation at the school gates when she drops off her son. It is fast becoming the highlight of my week, I love the creativity it brings out in me.

The Edmonds Challenge

This blog is all about expanding my horizons and pushing myself just that little bit further to get where I want to be. But it’s not just on this big things. I want to challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone and do just a little bit more.

_MG_0099So I’m starting with baking. This is my number one hobby and go to for everything in life from comfort and stress relief to creativity and expression. Not a weekend goes by where I’m not whipping something up for some reason or another. But what I have realised recently is that the ‘something’ I’m making is usually one of two things, banana loaf or Afghans. It is time to branch out and that’s what my Edmonds Challenge is about. I want to bake at least two new things from the Edmonds cook book  per month. Sort of like Julia and Julia with a lot less time pressure.

_MG_0094I’ve chosen the Edmonds book as it is a bit of a New Zealand institution. I learned to cook through my copy of The Edmonds Junior Cook Book, which had step by step pictures and warnings on every page ‘Careful, the pan is hot’. It is a New Zealand tradition to receive a copy of The Edmonds Cookery Book from your Mum when you first leave home, the copy I am using was my boyfriends departing gift when he moved to Wellington to study. It’s a book that has been around for ever, first published in 1907 and the biggest selling book ever published in New Zealand. It’s a staple in every NZ home so it’s not a fad to pass like cronuts and cake pops. It’s simple, plain and hopefully delicious cooking. Also, if my two signature bakes come from it, surely there are more to be discovered.

So, what’s your favourite Edmonds recipe? What should I try out first?