Friday, May 9, 2008

banana coconut macadamia nut bread

For the last six weeks, the Oldest Carrotstick and the Middle Carrotstick have both been preparing for a big end-of-the-year piano competition. They each had to present a program of 6-7 piano pieces, memorized, for a guest adjudicator (a piano professor from BYU). Needless-to-say, they have both been working hard, and not really enjoying themselves.

One day, while I was helping the Middle Carrotstick practice, I noticed the Middle Carrotstick had made a little commentary on the botttom of his Bach Invention:Being the good mother that I am, I respected his right to self-expression, and did not erase it, even though the adjudicator would be reviewing the music as the Middle Carrotstick performed. I'm all about keeping it real, you know.

But I have to say, the Middle Carrotstick is not the only one who has been tormented by Bach. We are all feeling a little nuts from all the hours of practicing. And little nuts and slightly bananas. Yes, it's true. Bach makes me bananas.

But, the Carrotsticks finally performed yesterday, and they did great. Hallelujah! Now we can relax and try to enjoy life.

And to enjoy it more fully, on this lovely, piano-free Good Food Friday, might I suggest, compliments of Cook's Illustrated, a lovely loaf of:

Bach Makes Me Bananas Coconut Macadamia Nut Bread

1/2 cup flaked, sweetened coconut
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3 very ripe bananas, soft, darkly speckled, mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs , beaten lightly
6 tablespoons butter , melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Toast coconut and macadamia nuts on small cookie sheet, stirring every 2 minutes, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Readjust oven rack to lower middle position. Grease bottom only of regular loaf pan, or grease and flour bottom and sides of nonstick 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. Combine first four ingredients, coconut, and nuts together in large bowl; set aside.

Mix mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with wooden spoon in medium bowl. Lightly fold banana mixture into dry ingredients just combined and batter looks thick and chunky. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan; bake until loaf is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

In order to truly enjoy it, you might want to consider having Bach's Invention No. 8 playing in the background, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over as you make the bread, eat the bread, clean your house, fold your laundry, water your plants, make your bed (or think about making your bed) brush your teeth, and even sleep. That'll give you a good feel for what things have been like at our house. For the Last. Six. Weeks. Then Bach will make you bananas too.


Kate said...

this looks delightful! did you want to mail me a loaf?

Nanette said...

Elle and I made the bread yesterday! It was delicious!
Happy mother's Day to you too!