Cats & Cakes what do they have in common?

First let me start by saying that right now I was supposed to be on my way down to FL.  Once again it is snowing and a change of plans was made.  I’ll keep dreaming about those warm temps and no shoveling snow zones…

My day started with a look out the window at the falling snow and thoughts that I would just stay in bed a little longer this morning and enjoy the quiet.  As is often the case my children (the four footed ones) had other ideas.  Joey apparently went over into the pasture and rolled around in fresh sheep shit, then got in my bed and rolled all over everything to share his new found odor.   Not how I planned my start.  Joey is also known to us as Black Bart – earning his name today.  Here is is in the bed after a bath and all the bedding has been striped for cleaning.

fresh and clean

He looks pretty sweet doesn’t he?  Even when they drive me bananas I love them!

The plan was to do some baking today.  I love fruit, I can’t get enough of it  – except bananas , I can do with one a month.  Charles loves them and has one every day. So, I always keep a supply in the house for him.  I had three in the basket that were overripe so I decided to make banana nut bread, since that is best made when they are very ripe.

I love to cook but not so much baking.  I think it is because with baking you need to follow directions and measurements.  Obviously something I’m not good at.  I have a large cook book collection.  I don’t follow any of the recipes, but it is an impressive collection and I do get inspiration from them.  The collection had actually gotten out of hand so last year I donated a little over 100 books to a local fund raiser.  My shelves are still quite full.

My mother wasn’t a very good cook, it wasn’t something she enjoyed.  She did on occasion do baking, and she was quite good at that.  Mom now has Alzheimer’s and hasn’t done any baking for many years.  I wanted to talk with her about her recipe today, but conversations like that are so hard, she doesn’t remember these things.  It’s a sad thing.

One of the first things I learned to bake from Mom was Banana Nut Bread.  I haven’t made this for many, many years.  I looked for my loaf pans that I bake it in, couldn’t find them.  I think they are packed away in storage in one of our out buildings.  I didn’t feel like fighting the snow to go look.  I had a bundt pan on hand and decided to give it a try.  How weird to have that pan handy and not the others.  The reason is though, that I recently froze fruit juice in the bundt pan to use in place of ice in my fruit punch.

That’s the building I didn’t feel like walking to.  I have boxes of treasures –  that’s a polite way of  saying  junk, stored in here.  I could have been hours looking for those pans.

The mixer is pulled out and ready for action.

Kitchen Aid Mixer - I swear by it!

My Mom gave me this mixer over 20 years ago.  I was taking a cake decorating class at the time and Mom wanted to support my efforts with a top of the line mixer.  The mixer has stood the test of time, my cake decorating skills not so much.  I was really awful at it, in fact it was one of the last times I ever took a formal class.

Overripe bananas work best for this recipe.  That really brings the flavor out.

pans ready for the oven

I used three mini pans in addition to the bundt, normally I use two regular loaf size pans.

fresh out of the oven!

Banana Nut Cake YUM!

I made a glaze out of powdered sugar, half-n-half and vanilla extract.  I only put it on half of the cake.  After trying it though, I’ve made more and put it on the rest of the cake.

I wrapped the three little loaves in parchment paper, placed them in a zip lock and put in the freezer for later.  Charles took one of them down to our neighbors house. They always bring us goodies, so it is nice to return the gesture.

Banana Nut Bread Recipe

Here is Mom’s recipe.  Although, I thought that vanilla was included, which I don’t have written down, but I went ahead and added about 1 tbs, and decreased the milk about that much.  If you can’t make out the recipe from the photo,(click on photo for larger version) contact me, I’ll be happy to share.  Also, today I was low on nuts so I used about 1/4 cup of chopped pecans.  Normally I put about 1/2 cup.

Charles says it turned out great.  I think so too.  He just came down and said it was time for coffee and cake.  Which brings up another subject coffee.  Something near and dear to our heart.  I’ll blog about that next.

So, I’ll pick out a photo for the day and leave you once again with warm thoughts.

Happy baking!

Gulls on Boca Grand, Gasparilla Island, FL


3 thoughts on “Cats & Cakes what do they have in common?

  1. I finally got the chance to look at your web site. Wonderful job!! Your art work speaks for itself. I love your imagination.
    Keep doing cartwheels down the beach!!

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