In about an hour, I'll know if I get to taste Easter this year, or if I've blown it entirely.
Everyone has their own thing that means Easter. Not in the grander meaning-of-the-holiday sense, but in the smaller, personal family sense. Easter for some is hiding eggs under bushes and for others it's big chocolate bunny-filled baskets. Here in Ecuador, Easter is associated with a very particular kind of soup that has a ridiculous number of ingredients, and back in Nebraska I kind of associate Easter with banana bread.
Laugh now, but then think about this: If Easter was a holiday you put in your mouth, what would it taste like to you?
I can't make a sunrise service in the Brule park in Ecuador. I can't pretend not to be too old to hunt eggs in my grandmother's yard - not least because Easter egg hunting is not the Ecuadorian way. I can't fight my cousins for my mom's mashed potatoes, and I won't be working my way methodically though a dessert table that rivals a bakery.
What I'm left with is banana bread. Specifically, my aunts, but since I didn't get the spike of Easter lonely till about 10:30 tonight I had to cheat and get a recipe off the Internet instead of calling her. It's from Australia and it has lots of sugar and butter in it, and I already had the bananas.
My history as a chef is not a shining beacon of excellence. I've learned the hard way about things like not mixing cinnamon with paprika, and that following the instructions is actually kind of important. Even with the best of intentions I've been known to completely screw up basic meals and side dishes, to the point where I'm a bit intimidated by my boyfriend's request for deviled eggs.
Yet I meticulously chopped my own walnuts to put in the bread, and creamed my sugar into the butter with gusto. No proper mixing bowl meant the thing got stirred up in a casserole pan, but it was indeed smooth as per the instructions. I dutifully buttered and floured my baking pan, and pre-heated the countertop convection oven. I am very proud of myself at the moment, but still fearful that something will be all wrong, like my oln friend the high altitude or something about the kind of bananas we have hear.
Still 46 minutes to go ... but the smell is right. Naturally it needs to be mixed with an undertone of baked ham and the chatter of family, but sweet banana will have to do. Let's all hope this tastes amazing ... and HAPPY EASTER to you all.