Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hump Day Hobbies

Baking counts as a hobby, doesn't it?  (Just say yes and go along with me on this, okay?)  Today I've got the most delectable recipe for banana flax bread to share.  But first things first:

By way of background, I've been friends with a wonderful woman named Gretchen for the past 11 years.  Gretchen lives in Tarrytown, New York.  We met online (shocking, I know!) when we were both fans of a TV show called "Due South" which was made in Canada in the mid 1990s and ran in reruns on TNT in the late 1990s (that's when I started watching).  We loved the show and its star, Paul Gross.  Gretchen and I planned to meet each other in person and go see Paul Gross play Hamlet on stage at the Stratford Theater Festival in Stratford, Ontario in 2000.  Sadly, Gretchen had a loss in her family and wasn't able to go.  (I got to go and see him and he was fabulous!!)  We really wanted to meet face to face, so I arranged to go visit her in New York later that year.  We became close friends, and ever since, we've tried to get together for a girls' trip every year. 

Gretchen and me in Durham, NC - September 2010
We've gone back to Stratford 5 or 6 times since 2002.  We always stay at the beautiful Avery House Bed & Breakfast in Stratford.  The two ladies that run it, Judy and Sue, remember us and make us feel at home.  During our visit there this past June, Sue was kind enough to share this recipe with us:

Banana Flax Bread

1/2 cup butter
1/2 - 3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup flax meal
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1-1/4 cups mashed bananas (2 large or 3 small bananas)
1/4 cup yogurt or buttermilk

Cream butter and brown sugar together until light and creamy.  Add egg.  Mix together dry ingredients.  Mix together bananas and yogurt.  Add alternately to butter.  Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes for a loaf or 15-20 minutes for 12 muffins.

This recipe doubles and freezes well. 

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