Remind me to put bananas on the grocery list!

summary: banana cranberry bran muffins are fabulous; even people who can’t stand bananas might like these muffins; don’t let “Hawaii” by James Michener influence your decision to try them; (photos?? You want photos???)

Our local vegetable/fruit store had bananas priced at $.39 a pound, as opposed to the now customary $.59 or $.69 per pound. (Why on earth is the store selling things by the pound?! :stomp:)

At that great price, how could we turn the bananas down?

We had fabulous banana lassis and sliced bananas on cereal and then suddenly, we couldn’t face eating any more bananas.

There were two left. All dotty brown. You know what I mean.

They were thinking about starting to approach the state on board ship in “Hawaii” by James Michener. Again, you know what I mean. The very reason to stop eating bananas ever again.

[T]wice a day he carefully peeled a banana, stuck half in his mouth, and said against his own better judgment, “It’s delicious.” The other half he forcefully pushed into Jerusha’s, watching her intently until she had swallowed it. […] [W]hat made it doubly nauseaous was that Abner had strung the ripening bananas from the roof of their stateroom, and there they swung, back and forth, through every hour of the passage, and as they ripened they smelled.
    At first Jerusha though: “I’ll watch the bunch grow smaller,” but it showed no effect of her efforts to diminish it. Instead it grew larger, more aromatic and swung closer to her face at night. “My dear husband,” she pleaded, “indeed I shall be sick!” […] The sea grew rougher, and eighteen of the missionaries found it advisable to stay below, where the smell of bananas added to their qualms. That night Jerusha declared that she could not, on pain of death, eat another banana […]
    “[…] You and I, Mrs. Hale, are going to eat every one of those bananas. It is God’s will.” So as the Thetis crept agonizingly ahead, the bananas danced malodorously in the stateroom.

James Michener, ‘From the Farm of Bitterness’, Hawaii, p.218-220

Like Jerusha’s husband, I couldn’t bear to throw the two bananas away, even though they were sitting there stinking and getting browner and softer. Even T. didn’t want to eat the bananas and he has a higher tolerance for ripe bananas than I do.

And then T had a brilliant suggestion. Muffins. Make muffins.

So I did. I rifled through a tattered ancient (1983) copy of a little magazine “Entertaining and Recipes” that used to be delivered (free) to Toronto households. The reason I’d kept it was for the section ‘Muffins in Minutes’ by Edna Staedler.

The bran muffin recipe I always use is there – scrawled by hand in the margin, as well as an amazing orange/date muffin recipe. And there is a “ripe banana” muffin recipe as well, calling for 3 to 4 ripe bananas.

Because we only had 2 ripe bananas, I added some frozen cranberries. Staedler’s recipe calls for white flour only. Ha. No way was I going to use only white flour. I exchanged some of the flour for a good shot of bran. And then threw in a few pepitas.

The muffins were brilliant!! Really brilliant. Not too sweet. Not too banana-y. Ju-u-u-st right!

Now if only I could remember exactly how much brown sugar I added….


This entry was posted in baking, cakes, pastries, cookies, etc., food & drink on by .

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