I’ve always had a thing for musicians.
Drums, guitar, keyboard, vocal percussion, singing….
There’s something about a man with an instrument that really does it for me.
My husband, Jason, is an excellent guitar player.
The first time I remember thinking that he was, maybe, kind of cute was while he was leading our fellow camp counselors in a rousing song on the guitar.
I heard him before I saw him and then, when I saw him, I was a bit shocked. I hadn’t known he had that in him.
Over the years, I’ve had the chance to be in the front row for many of his “concerts”.
He performs in our living room, around a campfire, in the kitchen.
And every time he does, it brings me back to that first time I saw him playing his guitar and singing on the large front porch of Bristlecone, a building at camp.
Me, I tried to learn guitar many years ago. I wasn’t very successful, although I did learn enough to be able to fumble my way through Norah Jones’ "Come Away With Me". Nobody wanted to hear me sing it, but I sang the heck out of that song in my college bedroom.
I do a bit less strumming fumbling on the guitar nowadays and a bit more cooking in the kitchen. Lucky for me, and everyone who never had the misfortune of hearing me sing, I recently stumbled across the secret to super killer banana bread.
And crystallized ginger.
My handsome, guitar-playing husband pointed out that this bread is a lot like a guitar chord. I started to get insulted, as I thought he was insulting my cooking by comparing it to my guitar-playing. But he clarified by saying that a guitar note is like banana bread. It’s great on its own. Yet, when you add in the chocolate and the crystallized ginger, it’s like adding in those two other notes that make a note into a chord. Now, it is elevated to not just great levels, but to amaaaaazing levels. Heat a thick slice of bread and serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect dessert. It'll be like your own private concert that only you are invited to attend. And, of course, anyone else you choose to share it with.
6 tbs. unsalted butter, melted
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cups granulated sugar
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. table salt
⅔ cup semi-sweet chocolate (you can use chips, morsels, bars, drops, etc., broken/cut into little slivers)
⅓ cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
2 extra-large eggs
4 large, overly-ripe bananas, mashed
¼ cup whole-milk, plain Greek yogurt, well-stirred
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate and the crystallized ginger. Whisk well, then set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs lightly. Mash together the banana, beaten egg, yogurt and vanilla. Mash until well-mixed.
Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture. Use a rubbder spatula to mix until just combined. Your batter will still be a bit lumpy, but that’s okay! You just don’t want any unincorporated flour.
Scrape batter into the prepared loaf pan, smooth the top with the spatula, and place pan into the oven.
Bake until the loaf is golden brown, about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool, in pan, on top of a wire rack, for 5 minutes.
Slide the bread out of the pan, let cool entirely, and be ready enjoy the blissful tastes of the most beautiful guitar chord banana bread you’ve ever set your ears taste buds on.
Little bits of spicy ginger; pockets of creamy chocolate, and the soft sweetness of banana bread. Served with rich vanilla ice cream?
It's destined to be love at first taste.