A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Malwina's Banana Cake

Here's what you do with leftover bananas. The skins can be black and the fruit nearly liquified, and the cake will still be delicious.

2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup mashed banana
2 eggs
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup walnuts or raisins

Beat softened butter; add sugar and beat. Add eggs and beat. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to butter/sugar/egg mix alternately with buttermilk. Add banana, vanilla, and walnuts and/or raisins and beat. Put in buttered loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees till done.

I actually bake this in two buttered 8- or 9-inch round cake pans, which takes about half an hour. In a loaf pan, more like an hour would be needed. And I never actually use buttermilk. I just sour some milk by adding a tablespoon or two of lemon juice or vinegar to whole milk. If I'm making this vegan, I substitute oil or vegan margarine (like Fleishmann's Unsalted) for the butter, soymilk for the milk, and egg substitute for the eggs.

This recipe comes from my mother's first cousin Malwina, who emigrated here from Poland in the sixties. Which side of the ocean she got it from I don't know. This is exactly as she gave it to me, except she doubled the sugar. Looks pretty with a little bit of powdered sugar dusted on top. Frosting would be overkill.

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