I am a firm believer that it’s important to hide your crazy early on in relationships. It would never have worked if I’d introduced myself to Dan by saying “Hi my name is Elena I’m a hypochondriac with giant hair who is also fairly certain that there are sharks in the deep end of every pool.” No, that’s crazy. Instead I just showed him my compass (not a metaphor) and let him figure the rest out over time, hopefully at the same rate that he discovered that I was awesome. The crazy to awesome ratio must be maintained at a steady rate for the early stages of any relationship (romantic or otherwise) as a way of not scaring potential friends away. And while some things are easier to figure out than others (like big hair), other quirks unfold at their own pace. For instance, it wasn’t until we moved in together that Dan realized I had a habit of keeping brown bananas in my freezer.
When I first started this blog I always had brown and black bananas in my freezer, the stray banana from a bunch that got too ripe to eat but could be saved for banana bread. And Dan thought that was insane. He couldn’t fathom why half our freezer needed to be filled with brown bananas, especially since my follow through was pretty terrible and I always put more bananas into the freezer than I took out for banana bread. Combine this with my penchant for savingwith soups and stews and stocks and our freezer became a black hole of squirreled away food. That I usually forgot about. I’ve long since stopped filling our freezer with bananas, and only partially because it drove Dan crazy. As I became more aware of the world around me (and my impact) my desire to eat a banana didn’t outweigh the environmental cost of getting them to my freezer door, so gradually our supply dwindled as I whipped up the final bunches of bread. Life moved onward, I filled our freezer door with other things that made Dan shake his head at me, and months or years would pass between each time I made banana bread.
This week, however, I got sent home with a big bunch of brown bananas. They’d been forgotten about, left in a bag in the corner of a kitchen, and were in perfect condition for banana bread. I popped them right into the freezer and today I pulled out my banana bread recipe and got to it, thinking I’d have banana bread muffins for breakfast this week. When I looked at the recipe, however, a family recipe, I decided to make some tweaks to fit the way we choose to eat during the week. I substituted the two cups of sugar with 1/4 cup of honey, the buttermilk with Greek yogurt, cut down the amount of flour, used almonds instead of pecans (that’s what I had on hand), and added a few tablespoons of peanut butter. The end result was a perfect muffin to grab on my way to work– hearty, not too sweet, filling, and packed with whole foods that will keep me full all morning. They’re especially delicious split, toasted, and topped with nut butter and a drizzle of honey.
the risks of photographing in the living room
Banana Almond Bread
6 ripe bananas, fresh or frozen
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup honey
2 cups bread flour
1 cup chopped almonds
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup water
Peel and chop bananas. Combine in mixer with eggs, yogurt, honey, almonds, cinnamon, salt, peanut butter, baking soda, and water. Mix until completely combined, then add in flour, half a cup at a time. Heat oven to 400. Fill muffin tins (or bread pan) with batter and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until cooked through (check after 45 minutes).