Banana bread and scorecards?!? Let me break it down for you. I have always loved the art form and idea of baking but I confess, I was a total rookie when I first got married. You know the term, fake it ’til you make it? Yea, I tried that. Totally crashed and burned. Why? Just sit back and allow me to entertain you with my banana bread foible.As we opened up our wedding gifts, one of the presents included a set of clear storage tins. Perfect for the kitchen! I wasted no time in starting to organize my new kitchen as a new wife. In they went, from cereal to flour and sugar – whatever I could get my hands on. Feeling super inspired, I decided to tackle taking on a family staple – Banana Bread. I thought to myself, ‘Hey, how hard can this be? Seems pretty straightforward.” I was fired up and couldn’t wait to see the big, impressed smile on my brand-spankin’-new hubbie’s face.
With my first baking attempt, the kitchen smelled glorious, which to me was a sign of success. As I pulled the bread from the oven, I was shocked to see that what was staring back at me took on the same consistency of clam chowder. Banana Bread: 1, Cindy: 0.
Ok, so maybe I missed one important ingredient? It’s okay, I’ll try again. Sometimes second chances work out for the best. This time, I carefully read over the recipe, and then again, and again for a total of seven times. There was no way I was messing it up this time. I carefully scrutinized every ingredient ensuring it was at the proper measurement. So, when I opened the oven door, you can only imagine the immense heartbreak I felt. I had only accomplished more clam chowder-like banana bread.
The score was now 2-0; the Banana Bread was winning. Fearing an annulment, I mustered up my pride and swiftly reached for my last lifeline: phone a family member (and in my case I rang all of my sisters). Each one of them talked me through the beloved family recipe to ensure I understood and processed each step. Now, mind you, this is a recipe that has held its own for more years than I have been alive. I just couldn’t keep screwing this up! With my third attempt, I was nearly beating my head against the wall. You guessed it – out from the oven came another hot fresh stinkin’ pile of banana bread soup. Banana Bread: 3, Cindy: 0.
Baffled beyond belief and wanting to figure out the mystery to this puzzle, I went so far as to send a picture of all the ingredients I was using to my sisters. Oh, the shame! Finally, my sister Barbara piped up and asked, “Cindy, do you think you could be mistaking the powdered sugar for flour, or something else?” Struck with humiliation, I confirmed her suspicion as I tasted the “flour” that sat in its beautiful clear container. She was right, it was powdered sugar instead of flour. I was crestfallen. Here I was – a new wife, a family recipe and three failed attempts, but at least the mystery was solved.
With my tail between my legs, I confessed my banana bread tale to my husband and do you know what he did? He made me come clean to the rest of my family. Can we say – embarrassing?!? Well, you can bet that I’ve learned my baking lesson the hard way and will never be putting powdered sugar in clear containers ever again. So, learn from my experience. Because once you get all your ingredients sorted out, the rest of the recipe should truly be a breeze!
Photos by: Maria Hedrick Photography