Every morning I lay out the sideboard for breakfast, carefully assembling a still life of fresh fruit anchored by a bunch of bananas. Then every morning, once everyone has had their breakfast feast, I carry the bananas into the kitchen. All still bunched together, intact, exactly as they started the day. Once back in the kitchen they will sit in a bowl, slowly progressing through the colour chart to black. In the afternoon I will drive to the supermarket to buy slightly green bananas for the next day. The banana routine has happened everyday since we opened, despite the fact that no one has ever eaten a banana at breakfast.
I’d love to break the cycle, to not have to look at a bowl of slowly aging bananas all day. But I can’t, it’s all part of our 5 star grading. Not the official Quality in Tourism grading, this award comes from a much tougher inspector, my Mum. To be 5 star there must be the provision of a banana (fairtrade) to be sliced over yoghurt (greek or of similar creaminess) and topped with granola (home-made, obviously!)
So in order to keep my family 5 star gold award I keep buying fairtrade bananas and have a stack of recipes that call for as many overripe bananas as possible. Here’s one of the best, enjoy smeared with butter & a cafetiere of strong coffee for a perfect afternoon treat.
Banana & Pecan Loaf
75g softened butter
110g golden caster sugar
125g plain flour
100g wholemeal self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 ripe bananas, mashed
50g pecans snapped in half
Heat oven to gas mark 4, 180 degrees
Grease & line a 450g loaf tin
Cream together butter and sugar until pale, add eggs & vanilla extract, use 1tsp flour with each egg to stop the mixture curdling
Sift in flours, baking powder, & fold in mashed banana. Stir through nuts.
Spoon into lined tin & bake for 40-50mins