Gil and I are officially moving. Before this week it seemed like a distant dream- one where leisurely packing and defrosting the refrigerator would become a reality (Oh, and can someone please tell me what I can make for dinner that includes leftover yellow cheese, olive tapenade, sweet chili sauce, and romaine lettuce?). That dream has become a nightmare. Just kidding. Not really.
Being 7 months pregnant while in the midst of moving out of the city in the middle of the summer has proven to be slightly more taxing than I anticipated. I was not aware, for example, that there is nowhere in Jerusalem to buy moving boxes- hence the supermarket hand-me-downs that have no tops that are now scattered across my apartment. And someone failed to mention that even the slightest bit of dehydration or overexertion can cause preterm labor contractions. Who knew?!
So two trips to the hospital, 4 liters of saline solution via Infusia, dozens of top-less egg crate boxes, and a loaf of Vegan Banana bread later- we are almost ready to move on Tuesday. Thank G-d for my Mother-in-law the life-saver, who is schlepping up from Kibbutz tomorrow to help us finish packing and to boss the movers around. She’s great at it.
By the end of the week I will officially be cooking in my brand new kitchen in Ramat Bet Shemesh- where it is quiet, tranquil, with the obvious lack of honking horns and obnoxious Shuk go-ers (which I’m pretty sure I will miss terribly as soon as I get there and realize I can’t run downstairs for some fruit or fresh-baked Bourekas). And I have brand spanking new bake ware to celebrate the occasion. But first I’ll share the easiest Banana Bread recipe on the planet. It can be filled with whatever goodies you can dream up- any variety of chopped nuts, or in our case chocolate. Gil’s weakness is Banana-chocolate flavored anything. He gets upset if I sneak nuts in here, but it is so easy, I often double the recipe and make two loaves- one filled with chopped cashews and pistachios for those of us with more refined tastes. Oh ya, and this recipe is Vegan- and still tastes yummy and delightfully rich.
Vegan Banana Bread
This recipe makes one 8×4 in loaf
1/2 cup margarine or canola oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon
3 or 4 ripe bananas
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate (optional)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325 F (162 C) and lightly grease an 8×4 in. loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, cream the margarine (I usually use oil) and sugars.
3. Sift in the flour, baking soda, salt, and spice.
4. In a small bowl, mash up the bananas.
5. Add the mashed bananas to the flour mixture, and stir just to combine. At this point you can add any extras that you might want: I like to add chopped bittersweet chocolate. Stir in add-ins just until combined.
6. Pour into prepared pan and bake in your preheated oven for about an hour. Check at about 45 minutes. The bread is done when a skewer or toothpick inserted comes out clean and the top is golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack, then carefully remove to cut. This will stay moist, covered in foil or plastic at room temperature, for several days. Heck, I’ve even kept it on the counter for a week, but it usually doesn’t last that long in our house.