You should have seen me on New Year's Eve. I was a moist-eyed, messy haired maelstrom of emotion.
Anyway, the strangest things can transport me into reflecting over the year, and today it just happened to be the price of bananas.
Please, stay with me, I promise there is a point, a recipe, and some photos, very soon!
This time last year Brisbane was in the early stages of cleaning up after our horrendous floods. Every day there were new reports of the extent of the devastation and the millions of dollars of work that needed to be done to put people's lives back together. I won't deny that there are so many people still suffering the after effects, but there is still help available and still work goes on.
Shortly after the floods northern Queensland was severely affected by cyclone Yasi. Again, communities were leveled, whole lifetimes swept away along with houses and possessions and all the banana crops.
Here in Brisbane, in the areas not affected by the flood, such as where I live, one of the major symptoms of the natural disasters plaguing our state was the price of bananas. Such a silly thing, but here it is a type of barometer for our society. In Brisbane, that means that when bananas hit $15 a kilogram, something is wrong.
Sometimes in life it is those common daily objects and foods that we rely on to indicate normality and maintain consistency when all else goes awry. Over the past couple of months when there have been some major shifts in my life the rhythm of the everyday, the dulling, soothing regularity of household tasks has been a blessing. You just surrender to the familiarity, and you know that those everyday things, those simple parts of life, mean that when you look at the bigger picture, when you are able to, everything really will be all right.
Now, a year after the floods, and what a year it has been, I saw bananas at the market today for 29 cents a kilogram. 2012 might be a restful year after all. The banana always knows.
These muffins were made for my Dada, Bobby C.
Banana Chocolate Muffins for Bobby C.
I used a scale to measure all large quantities of ingredients, wet into one bowl and dry into another. It made for easier cleaning up! To convert grams to ounces simply use this handy little calculator.
Makes 20 medium sized muffins.
225 grams plain flour
115 grams brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
170 grams milk
3 small bananas, or two medium
Juice of one lemon
2 large eggs
50 grams rice bran oil (or other mild flavoured oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2/3 cup chopped dark chocolate
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line two muffin tins with 20 paper liners, or spray with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl mash bananas with the lemon juice, you want them to be mostly liquid but a few banana chunks are okay and will caramelise slightly when baked.
- Into the banana bowl weigh the other wet ingredients; milk, eggs, oil, and vanilla bean paste.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
- Add dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir until mostly combined, then gently fold in the nuggets of dark chocolate.
- Spoon mixture into prepared pans and bake for approximately 15-18 minutes, swapping trays between top and bottom halfway through the cooking time.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.