Today I ventured to the thriving metropolis of Orangeville with Lara, to visit our friend Janis. Or as we affectionately call her, Jan-ass.
Jan-ass came into our lives in our first year of university. From the start it was clear that Janis was different. That is to say, she was then and remains today one of the most honest people I know. She doesn’t sugar coat anything; if you are being an idiot, she’ll tell you as much; if you need a swift kick in the ass, you should best believe she’s going to deliver it with a steel toed boot. Best of all, she’ll deliver it with a smirk and a giggle. And you have to love someone like that.
I also love Jan-ass for another reason – she has this amazing ability to look at the world from many different angles and find a way to take the high ground approach in spite of ridiculous challenges and set backs. I’ve never met anyone that could laugh in the face of adversity like she does. No matter what life throws at her, she carries on with a smirk and a giggle, and that is freaking incredible. If you’re having any sort of trouble, she’ll be able to listen to the problem and present to you a new way of looking at it. That’s not to say that what she presents necessarily solves the problem, but in many cases it makes the once mountainous issue nothing more than a molehill. Something to be laughed at, and let go of. You really have to admire someone like that.
Beyond all of this, Jan-ass is also a most incredible baker. To that end, she was reading my blog a few weeks back and noted my desire to learn how to make dairy-free banana bread. Why was such a thing on my Not-So-Bucket-List? Why not – that’s why. Actually, the reason is simple: I love banana bread.
So off to Orangeville we went. Our adventure started first with some food and catching up; because clearly one shouldn’t bake on an empty stomach. Of course, a full stomach isn’t so full that it can’t be convinced to make room for a small slice of lemon cake (just a sliver). And it just so happened that Jan had whipped up some lemon cake that morning. Seriously – who just whips up lemon cake? Amazing.
Anyway, after catching up and eating, it was down to business. The business of drinks – specifically banana liqueur on ice, with just a touch of Sour Puss. For those curious, it tastes like a swedish berry.
With drinks in hand, Jan and Lara started mashing four ripe bananas as I took notes. Jan pulled out her industrial mixer and started dropping in ingredients. To satisfy the non-dairy aspect of my Not-So-Bucket-List item, Jan had purchased some vegan butter. One cup of the vegan butter was mixed with one cup of white sugar, one cup of brown sugar, a tablespoon of vanilla extract, and finally the smashed bananas.
Sadly, this is where my memory gets a bit fuzzy,
thank you very much banana liqueur and Sour Puss
Four eggs and four cups of white flour, two teaspoons of baking soda, and two teaspoons of baking powder were then mixed into the banana-butter-sugar-vanilla-goo. Within about 10 minutes the batter was ready. She poured this into 3 separate greased pans, popped them into a preheated oven for 55 minutes at about 350 degrees, and as if she hadn’t just performed a feat of magic, put the dishes away, washed her hands, smiled, and took a sip of her drink.
And just like that folks, I’ve learned to make non-dairy banana bread. And it is delicious. Thanks again Jan. You constantly amaze me. I love you long time my friend. Long time indeed.
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