I love Jane Grigson's Fruit Cookbook - my dear cousin gave it to me many moons ago and it is well used. In particular, I love Mrs Grigson's recipe for Banana and Walnut Bread. So on Saturday, I assembled the ingredients and arranged them to photograph. Took the shots. And then realised that - shock! horror! - there were no walnuts in the house. Which is pretty weird given we have two walnut trees in the garden.
It was a tad too late in the day to rectify the situation, so Sunday morning I headed off to dear (and you can use that word in many ways...) old Waitrose, one of our local supermarkets. Whilst I was there, I noticed that they had their current food magazine in stock so of course, one came home with me... here it is on the hall table...
I have an obsession with recipe books, food magazines and I have carted several hundred around the world with me. I won't embarrass myself by showing you photos of all these just now, but the next image shows you about one third of all the cook books (excluding the magazine numbers ) I have at home...
However, here is the recipe for the Banana and Walnut Bread with some introductory text from Mrs Grigson.
"There are many recipes around these days for banana bread, with more or less bits and pieces added to the basic mixture. This simple recipe is my favourite, because it needs no butter when it is newly made, and for a day has a crust that is crisp and buttery golden brown. Put it in a box and the softens.
- 125g/4oz butter
- 175g/6oz caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2-3 large bananas (500g or 1lb approx)
- 60-90g/2-3oz walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 250g/8oz self-raising flour
- 1/2 level teaspoon salt
- 1/4 level teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/4 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, and add the eggs, beating them in well. Peel and mash the bananas with a fork: do not use a blender or processor or the bananas become too liquid. Add them to the mixutre, with the walnuts. Stir together the dry ingredients and fold them in using a metal spoon.
Line a 23 cm (9inch) loaf tin with baking paper (Veronica says - I just grease a non-stick pan well) and brush it with melted butter. Spoon in the mixture, levelling it out. Bake at gas 4, 180 C, 350 F, for an hour. Test with warm skewer and give it longer if the skewer does not come out clean. Leave the cake in the tine for 15 minutes when it comes out of the oven and then turn it onto a wire rack to cool. When the cake becomes too dry to eat with pleasure on its own, spread the slices with brandy butter." Note from me - it's never lasted long enough to get to the brandy butter stage!