Category Archives: food

Alton Brown’s Pork Chop Blues Music Video

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Banana Bread, Frankenstein Recipe

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Sorry if the post title is misleading, but that’s what this recipe is. It’s part mine, part Amy Vanderbilt, part All Recipes and part All Recipes Reviewer Naples34102.

I love Banana Bread. It’s something that I’ve made for more years than I can remember. I’ve always used the recipe from my vintage Amy Vanderbilt Complete Cookbook. The resulting bread was always delicious but not as moist* as I’d like. I decided to hunt for a recipe that would be that.

Here is the Conglomerated Recipe.

Wet Ingredients:
2 Ripe Bananas (basically 1 cup’s worth)
1/2 cup / 1 stick Butter, room temperature
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 cup Sugar (I know, it isn’t wet, but it goes in with them)
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Tsp Lemon Juice

Dry Ingredients:
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Grease the inside of a standard loaf pan.

Put all wet ingredients in the jar of a blender and blend until smooth; set aside.

Using a sifter, put all dry ingrients into a bowl.

Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Pour this mixture into the greased loaf pan.

Bake for 1 hour. This is the hinky part. I generally do 2 loaves at a time. 1 is always done in an hour, the second always takes a bit longer. This could be operator error or simply an issue with our oven. What this means is that I start checking the loaves for doneness at an hour. I use the toothpick method and the “Is the top of the bread still jiggly?” method.

Remove from the oven and let rest.

I always remove my loaves from their pans once they’re cool and store them in large ziplock bags in the fridge.

*Sorry for using that word. My youngest always “Mother”s me when I say it but sometimes it’s the most to the point.

That wasn’t a chocolate chip cookie…

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I volunteer at a hospital. Sometimes we’re given a boxed meal because the cafeteria is closed. This past shift, instead of packaged cookies, there were baked cookies that were wrapped in pairs. I thought they were chocolate chip so saved them for my Large Fry. When I got home, I told her there were cookies for her.

Fast forward 2 days. This child, who never uses Facebook or Messenger had messaged me while I was at a meeting.

“Okay I realize it is early in the day but I got those cookies that were meant for me.

They were not chocolate chip.

They were raisin cookies.

I have fallen for a trick I thought only existed in fiction.”

I messaged an apology because I would not have shared Oatmeal Raisin cookies with her, I would have kept them all for me. (Obviously.)

When I got home she handed me the leftover cookie and said

“I bit into the cookie. I tasted betrayal, not chocolate.”

I love my Large Fry.

My Most Loved Cookbook

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I wanted to make banana bread this morning so pulled out the cookbook that has my favorite recipe.

“Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Cookbook”

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This poor book – it’s lost its dust jacket, the spine is gone, the binding is in tatters.

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Pages are dog eared, stained with years of cooking splashes, marked with recipe changes… No matter – it is my go-to cookbook.

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It was my mom’s so I grew up using it as a teen and when I had a family of my own, before the days of eBay & Amazon, I had a bookstore search for a copy for me. When asked for any info I had about it, I mentioned that it was copyright 1961 and had drawings by Andrew Warhol. The vintage book store guy seemed surprised by that but said it might make it easier to find. They found a copy for me within a few months. The cover had a different colorway but it had a dust jacket and the book itself was super clean.

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(See – I wasn’t fibbing about the Andrew Warhol thing.)

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I love the drawings and used to flip the pages, just to see his simple linework images.

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Anyway, I did use this book for awhile. It was odd, because I was used to the old one falling open at certain pages and the new copy seemed like it had seen nearly no use. I made do with it though.

A few years later, while visiting my parents one holiday, my mom told me she was going to do a book purge and asked if I wanted anything before she did. Duh. I packed every cookbook she had and put the box in our truck for the drive home.

The old Amy Vanderbilt is now my most used and most loved cookbook. It sits on the shelf next to the “nicer” one. I sometimes think about using it but then my hand always falls on the old standby.