Thursday, March 10, 2011

Banana Bread

I was browsing the internet yesterday and came across a beautiful quote by Gandhi – Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.  And then it struck me that even though we claim to have freedom and give freedom to our children, we are not very tolerant of mistakes others make.  Mistakes are viewed as “failures” and not really stepping stones to “learning”.  How often I have used the following with my children, “You can do it, but if you make one mistake also, that is it.”  I am giving them the freedom to do something, but with the freedom I am also giving them a warning that mistakes would entail them to give up that freedom.  Why?  Mistakes have a price – they cost me money or time.  Of course I refuse to see that mistakes can also be good teachers.  Imagine a way of life where you act, learn from your actions, consult and share this with others and take your new learning back into the field of your day to day life. You would constantly be in a process of learning and improving ourselves.  Mistakes and learning from them would no longer be a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength and positive change.

Preparation Time: 1 hour
Serves 6


8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup castor sugar
2 eggs
3 very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork until smooth
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup walnuts, chopped
½ cup desiccated coconut  

  1. Preheat oven to 180 Degrees C and grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.  
  2. Mix together the all purpose and wheat flours, salt, baking powder and sugar in a bowl.  Keep this aside.   
  3. In another bowl, cream the butter and beat in the eggs and the bananas.  
  4. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients.  
  5. Gently stir in the vanilla, nuts and the coconut.  
  6. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes, until nicely browned.  A toothpick inserted into the centre of the bread will come out fairly clean when it is done, but because of the bananas this bread will remain moister than most.  
  7. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Can be served warm with custard or cream.

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