Thursday, June 23, 2011

Crispy Banana Bread

My friend who writes the Sassy Family Gourmet is an inspiration to me.  Not because I desire to cook and bake more after reading her stomach growl inducing posts, rather, I am inspired to eat.

But, to eat, you need to make the food first.  I usually start with dessert.  My favorite is my very own creation of Crispy Banana Bread.  This bread is so easy to make, a caveman could do it.

Here is what you need:

  • 6 kids (ages 9, 7, 6, 4, 2, and 1)
  • 1.5 cups flour (make sure you have more on hand as most of the initial amount will be spilled on the floor.  Get used to breathing the air with thousands of small particles of flour floating into your previously clean lungs.)
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder (there is a MUST READ tip on how to mix this, below.  Pay attention!)
  • 0.25 teaspoon baking soda
  • Full bottles or jars of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and ground cloves
  • 1 egg (have extra on hand and wear a helmet in case you slip on the dropped extras)
  • 3 -12 ugly black leaking bananas (the kids have to be able to look at them and say "EEEEEEEWWW!!")
  • A 5 pound bag of sugar
  • 0.25 cups cooking oil
  • A bottle of raw sugar
  • A bottle of vanilla
After you've gathered all the stuff, grab a couple of mixing bowls and a bunch of chairs and  stools for the kids to fight over who stands on which.  Mash at least three bananas into one of the bowls so it resembles smallish chunks.  The rest of the bananas are for when one of the kids stops saying "EEEEEEEEWWWW" and eats one.  The other kids will follow suit because they won't be able to let just one person enjoy the food.

Add the flour to the other mixing bowl.  Then, divert the kids' attention and quickly mix in the baking powder.  This is VERY important.  If the kids mix this one ingredient, you will inevitably have two rock hard loaves of bread with a delicious salty ball-ish treat in the middle of one of them.  Add the baking powder.  Have a kid mix.

They will all want to mix and will end up working out an equal sharing plan.  One child will take too long stirring and the others will begin to cackle.  They will get louder and louder and start pushing and shoving.  At this point, remove the bowls and mix it yourself on the counter behind the kids.  Let them go at each other.  They'll get bored or hurt and quit at some point with everyone apologizing for the blood, bruises, and large bumps on their heads.

(I forgot to mention.  Make sure you have band-aids, gauze pads and rolls, gauze tape, ice packs, washcloths, alcohol prep pads, anti-bacterial ointment, arm splints, shoulder straps, and lots of kisses and hugs on hand.)

By that time, you'll have mixed in your favorite blend of spices.  A little dash of this and a big shake of that.  The key is to smell the dry batch after every shake of a new spice bottle.  If your nose hairs twitch, add some more of another bottle.  There is no such thing as too much spice in banana bread but it doesn't go both ways.  Without the spice, you might as well slice it up, slap on a slice of bologna, lather it up with a few tablespoons of mayonnaise and enjoy a decent sandwich.

Then, the kids will not even care anymore.  Pick one of them to stir in the unbeaten egg, as much vanilla as you want, a fist worth of sugar, then a few more shakes of the sack, and the cooking oil, to the banana mixture.

Combine the two bowls, mix until all is wet, grease bread pan with oil spray, pour batter into pan, and pop into a 350 degree oven.

Then, once it is in the oven, remember the last and final and most important step and quickly remove it and place the pan back on the counter.  Give one of the kids the raw sugar bottle and have them shake as much as they want all over the top.  Tell them that the goal is to not see ANY batter whatsoever.  The more raw sugar, the crispier!  Then put it back in the oven.

Don't worry about the time it takes to bake the loaf.  You'll have ample opportunities to check if its done during the multiple times you have to rush at one of the kids who just opened the oven.  While you're telling them its naughty to open the oven, open it all the way, block the kid with your posterior and then stick a toothpick in the middle.  If it comes out clean, your done!

Take it out, let it cool (or not), and then enjoy the victory.  I recommend sitting on the kitchen floor where crumb cleanup is a snap.  The kids love that.


  1. Way to be a dad! Sassy approves of the food AND the kids :) Thanks for the shout-out!

  2. Thanks, Jill. Its more of a dream actually. One day, I'll be ready to let go. I'm aaaaaaaaaaalmost there. One more good kick in the rump and I'll be in.