Saturday, August 24, 2013

Blueberries and Banana Bread

Whew!  What a busy two weeks it's been!  Starting a new school year is exhausting.  I haven't written anything since my postmortem on summer.  You can check that out here.

Saturday mornings are about putting the house back together now that I'm back to work full time.  After breakfast it is time to vacuum, mop, clean bathrooms, and sort and start laundry.  I do not enjoy cleaning my house.  In fact, I hate it.  But I can also only live with so much clutter and disorder. This Saturday I was about to hop in the shower after cleaning my part of the house when I realized I couldn't because my husband was cleaning said shower.  I came back down to the kitchen and saw my black bananas on the counter.  Time to throw in a loaf of banana bread. 

When I did my ode to bread and butter earlier this summer, I made mention of my love of a loaf of banana bread.  I love the way it makes my house smell.  I love to give a loaf of it to people.  I love to eat the end piece.  If it is banana bread we are keeping, I usually cut off both ends first and eat them myself.  That works out just fine.

I used to make a banana bread recipe from the Cake Mix Doctor that made two loaves.  There are people in my life who loved this recipe, and they always received the second loaf.   It wasn't my fave, though.  I recently found a recipe for Julia's Banana Bread at Cannella Vita that I adore. You can find her recipe here.  It is moist, dense, dark and full of flavor.  I wish there were more than two ends on this loaf.  My twist on it is to add blueberries.  Not just any blueberries.  Seriously. 

We weren't finished picking when I took this picture!  They have to last us all year!
When our kids were one and three, we started going to a u-pick blueberry farm close by.  We've gone every year since except last summer.  Alas, there was a late spring cold snap that killed the whole blueberry crop that year.  When I found out, I almost cried.  Luckily we had about seven bags in our freezer that we rationed through the whole next year.  There is nothing like fresh, local blueberries.  Once you've had them, you'll realize that blueberries from the store, fresh or frozen, have almost no taste at all.  So we tend to pick a lot of them when we go in late June/early July. Like an "I-have-to- write-a-check" for the amount lot because the amount of cash I'm willing to carry around doesn't cover it. We freeze them and eat them all year long in banana bread, waffles, pancakes, and oatmeal.  So good.
My husband and daughter washing and storing them in freezer bags = yummy goodness all winter long!

I add about a 3/4 of a cup of our frozen blueberries to this banana bread recipe which just takes it to a whole new level.  Whenever I do this, it reminds me of all the years we've been going to this farm.  This makes me smile on a cold January Saturday.  Our kids have grown up doing this every summer and look forward to it.  Every family needs traditions, and this is one of our favorites.  Now I've just got to share some pictures of us doing this over the years.

My son was in a stroller the first year we went...
...and here he is this summer helping us pick (while he eats)!
This was his first experience with blueberry pancakes.  He is my picky eater, but he has always loved blueberries.  He will eat the frozen ones right out of the bag.
My daughter and I the first year...
...and this summer!
As I write this, the timer is counting down and my house is smelling wonderful.  I guess it wasn't so bad I couldn't get in the shower.  I'll be taking out my blueberry banana bread in a few minutes. Mmmmmm... 



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