Post By Tater-Peelin’ Mama: The Baking

She sure is merry, but not so much the brightest bulb…..

Is Rusty still in the Navy?

While the men folk are busy outside parking and re-parking cars, hanging imported Italian twinkle lights, or chopping down over-sized trees, we fairer folks are normally ruling the roost.  Hopefully, by this time you’ve already decked yer halls.  The tinsel is hopefully hung on the tree, or at the very least sadly dangling near the bottom of the tree like the depends that everyone’s favorite Aunt Bethany is wearing.  With all of our favorite yule tide traditions checked off the list, there is but one thing for the ladies to tackle:  THE BAKING.

You’d better work!

Now we’ve all got family in for the holidays.  And isn’t there always that one special cousin/aunt/sister that follows you around the kitchen hoping to learn something from you and your mom?  You don’t want to hurt her feelings and remind her of how she burned the brown and serve rolls last year, so you give her a task to make her feel like she is contributing.   Let’s reflect on the jobs that are safe for those with some light bulbs missing in the strand:
*  peeling the boiled eggs (….. on second thought that is a gum-bleed waiting to happen)
*  chopping the onions .. we always give that jewel of a job to the new girl don’t we?  The drawback is having to look at a Tammy Faye Baker mascara face all throughout  your meal.  Blech!
*   topping the sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and lightly toasting.  Surely she can handle that?  NOPE!  Burnt.  Every.  Dang.  Time.
*  brown the brown and serve rolls?  nope…. not unless you want to dip hockey pucks in your super yummy gravy.
I think you get the point here.  She is all egg and no noggin the kitchen , and she needs your help!  Here is a recipe to boost her confidence as a kitchen elf and yours as a teacher and spreader of domestic goddess-ness-ess… yeah… whatever.
Grandmother Hepburn’s No Fail Banana Bread
It’s been established in previous installments of Tater Peelin’ Tuesdays that the Tater is most definitely NOT a food snob, and is NOT above a good deal at the grocery store.  I often purchase over-ripe bananas on special, then bring them home and immediately peel and  chop them up in Grandmother Hepburn’s Banana Bread recipe quantities and place them in a freezer bag for use later.

Zip it!

If you do this, let the bag of ‘nanners thaw on the counter until they are still cold but no longer frozen.  When thawed, the baggie of bananas will look a whole lot like banana soup, but don’t worry…. they bake the exact same (maybe even a tad more moist) as fresh bananas.
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup room temperature butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
5 bananas chopped (or thawed banana soup in a baggie, whichever way you like it honey)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350* and prepare 2 loaf pans with butter/flour
Mix:  sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla until smooth
Add bananas and mix 2 min.  (1 min.  if you are using banana soup baggie)
Sift flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl
Add flour mixture to banana mixture and mix 2 more min.
Fold in chopped pecans (optional but highly recommended.  I mean, seriously!  It’s like … do you want Wal-Mart or Neiman’s?)
Pour into 2 Loaf pans  and bake on 350* for 70 min. or until a toothpick comes out cleanly
You can also bake as muffins on 350* for 20-25 min.  If you do this, the Hepburn family secret is to use foil liners and nonstick spray.
This recipe is so easy that every family’s wanna be domestic goddess-ness-ess… eh… yeah… will be able to pull it off to perfection.  If by some off-chance she still manages to mess it up, send her to the coat closet to re-lace everyone’s shoes for the duration of the Christmas season.
– Tater Peelin’ Mama

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