In this week's Martin and Sylvia: More Adventures story, “Friend Cake”, Sylvia wakes one morning remembering a curious dream. In the dream she helped a group of little ants, and in return, they give her some “friend cake”.
And what is friend cake? At first, Sylvia doesn't know, but after wondering about it for a while, she, Martin and Momma decide that they need to bake a “friend cake,” and give it to their dear friend Miss Melinda of the Spunderful Shop. When they arrive later that day, however, they realize their friend cake is not only for old friends, but for new friends too!
In my book, there is nothing like a good hunk of chocolate chip banana bread for sharing with friends. It may not quite be “cake”, but it's close enough. Old friends, new friends, new friends who have now become old friends — I can't count the acquaintances we've made and rekindled with the help of this recipe.
Making it over and over again, I've learned a few helpful hints, which — since we're friends now — I'll share with you.
First, if you don't happen to have over-ripe bananas when the need for banana bread strikes, don't despair! Put whatever bananas you have in a baking dish in a 300 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, then let them cool for 10 minutes after. Presto-chango--you will have over-ripe bananas!
Second, if you bake the bread in canning jars, it makes it super easy to give away in small doses and not have to worry about getting your dishes back. I like to use half-pint (8 ounce) jars.
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (makes 7, half-pint jars)
3 very ripe bananas
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup dark chocolate chips
½ stick of butter or cooking spray (to grease the jars)
Put the jars on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of one comes out clean. Let the jars cool—they'll shrink down a little—and promptly spread them amongst your friends.
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred-year-old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two preschoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion — showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun — in her Sparkle Kitchen posts.