By Teri Cayton
The Parsons Advocate
The groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter, but in this area we haven’t had much bad weather anyway. We were having a bit of a cold snap but it is back up in the mid 40’s and 50’s this week. The news said we are in the middle of a winter drought as we have only received about 1/7 of our annual snow fall.
We never had that problem back in the good ole days. When October rolled around you could expect snow clear up into March of the next year. Now we are getting polar vortexes (which we never heard of all we knew was that it was COLD). Momma Said, “The only fancy names we had for the cold weather was… IT IS WINTER so get over it.”
We are lucky now if we get as much snow in a whole season as we used to get in just one storm. The world is changing and it does not surprise me that things are not as they once were. I’m not sure if this is what is called progress or not.
I don’t mind not getting the snow because of travel difficulties but the big problem will come in the spring and summer when we don’t have any water. The winter drought will cascade over into a summer drought and the ball just keeps rolling downhill collecting all the casualties. Momma Said, “Waste not, want not…turn off that faucet when brushing your teeth!”
Chocolate Banana Bread
- 4-5 ripe bananas, 2 cups mashed
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted (can substitute olive oil or coconut oil)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus more for topping the bread
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas until smooth. Few chunks here and there are fine. You can also pulse the bananas a few times in a blender if you prefer.
- In the bowl with the mashed bananas, add the sugar, melted butter, eggs and vanilla extract, mix on low until combined.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips with a spatula, mix just until combined.
- Pour the batter into a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan (greased or lined with parchment paper). Add additional chocolate chips to the top of the bread if desired.
Bake for 60 minutes. Check the bread and add additional time in 5 or 10 minute intervals until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few breadcrumbs. The baking time is a large range because every oven if different and various loaf pans cook at different times. There are two popular loaf pan sizes – 9×5 and 8.5×4.5. Even though the numbers are similar, the pans actually differ in size by 15%. The 8.5×4.5 pan will yield a tall more domed bread and will take 5-10 minutes longer when baking. Cool for 15 minutes in the baking pan and then transfer to a wire rack until cooled completel
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