Banana Bread

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Our house is still new to me. We moved here not so long ago, so I am still getting used to it. I could say it feels like the home is also getting used to having us around. It feels like each room still has some reluctance to my presence, as if it was not comfortable enough to let me fully appreciate its space. The cat seems to be way much more confortable than me in this new environment. Jacob is fine as well. As long as he has a room to put up his photography gear he is happy. For me, it is different…

So there I was on this Monday morning, two days after our moving day. Jacob and I had both taken the day off to unpack whatever we had brought in this house. I was having a wonderful morning sipping coffee and eating a fresh croissant with raspberry jam. Sitting on one of the kitchen stools for the first time, I was dreaming my day away, thinking of all the wonderful things I could be doing with this day off instead of folding clothes and putting Ikea furniture together.

I was thinking about the first time I moved out of my parents place. Seems so long ago. I was 17, so confident about what I was going to do, I didn’t have a doubt that things would be ok. I was moving 3 hours away with a friend who had been living on his own for a year already. I was taking his old roomate’s place who had just left a couple of weeks before I moved in.

The advantage was that I got to take the big room since he didn’t care about moving his room for a bigger closet. Booya bitches! I was really happy about that! If I had had many clothes at that time it would have been even a greater thing. But that’s not the point. Another big advantage was that he already had a lot of furniture. He had couches, a dining table, mixing bowls … pretty much all I had recieved as gifts to go in my appartment stayed in boxes that year.

The down side was that I realized it would be very hard to feel like I was home in a place filled with someone else’s memories and belongings.

So there I was standing, in this kitchen surrounded by all his beautiful furniture and feeling like a litle girl for the first time in a while – read here that I was pretty arrogant as a teanager. And so he started to explain to me the rules of the appartment building, where the closest stores were, what to expect at university, he was actually very helpful, but I wasn’t mature enough at that point to admit that.  So I decided to go for a walk so that I would not die of boredom.

During that walk, I realized what it meant to be on my own and not to have this safe and familiar house to come back to. Things were changing, and I had to adapt. For the first time, I was missing Home. So I called my sister. She made it all better with saying what I needed to hear at the right time. That’s what big sister’s do. They fix things.

When I came back to the appartment, it was smelling delicious. A mix of sugar, fresh butter and bananas … I could not quite explain it but I knew that whatever had been baking, I wanted a piece! Phil, my roomate and friend at the time, was in the kitchen cutting himself a gigantic piece of banana bread. I could tell he was proud of the finished result. And then he said this, or what I remember as being grosso modo : « I know it’s hard moving for the first time. I know you probably feel lonely. So just feel free to always talk to me when you do. It will make it pass more smoothly. And if that doesnt work, well I do banana bread very often, so just grab a bite and I am pretty sure it will fix whatever problem you face. It’s that good! ».

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I really did like him at that precise moment. Even more when I tasted his lovely and moist bannana bread. We sat at the table and ate. And I felt like I had found an very cool new shelter.

And for that year, he kept his promise. The appartment was always smelling so good. When he left at the end of that year, he gave me his reciepe. I don’t know where it came from, but something about it was just right.

So on this first morning in our new house, I decided to bake our first banana bread to celebrate all our efforts. This bread, for me, is full of memories and I hope Phil’s banana bread will bring real joy in your kitchen, just like it does in mine everytime I bake it.

Here it is guys .

You will need :
½ cup of butter
1 ¼ cup of sugar (a bit less if your banana are really riped)
2 eggs
1 table spoon of vinaigre
1/8 cup of milk
2 cups of flour
1 ½ tea spoon of baking powder
½ tea spoon of soda
a pinch of salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 table spoon of milk
1 tea spoon of vanilla
1 cup of nuts (your choice and optional)

In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter with the sugar. Add the eggs.

In another bowl, add the vinagre to the 1/8 cup of milk and let it sit for 5 minutes. You could also use sour cream for this step.

Add this to the butter mix.

In a third bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt.

Add the flour mix to the first bowl in 3 batches, alternating with the mashed bananas.

Once everything is mixed well together, ass the two table spoon of milk and mix. Add the vanilla and mix. Then add the nuts.

Pour the dough in a buttered bread pan, and bake at 350F for about 55 to 60 minutes.

Let it cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes, and you will be ready to cut yourself a big piece of this delicious homestyle banana bread.

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