What’s In A Gift?

We are wading through uncharted waters, with Coronavirus gripping the entire globe. It is tough. It is emotional. It is scary. However, we need to keep positive, because this too shall pass! 

โ€‹So, while you are sorting your cupboards and spring-cleaning your house during South Africa’s 3 week Lockdown (let’s be honest, we are all going to go through this stage at SOME point), I thought I would share one of my favourite easy peasy flop-proof banana bread recipes. How does this relate to events, you might ask? Well, home-made gifts are something that will never go out of fashion. And baked goods can be a thoughtful thank-you gift for a bridal shower, traditional kitchen tea or a birthday celebration. And, what better time than now to test a recipe? So here goes! 

(By the way, this is not my recipe. This delicious recipe comes straight out of the Hirsch’s Homestore “At Home with Hirsch’s” recipe book).

Cream 125g butter or margerine and 200g brown sugar until light and creamy.
Beat in 2 eggs, one at a time, and add 3-4 ripe bananas mashed up and mix well (mine are always a little over-ripe – that way I have less waste in my house ๐Ÿ™‚ ).
Sift 280g cake flour and 10ml baking powder; add in alternating with 5ml bicarbonate of sode dissolved in 125ml warm milk, to obtain a soft dropping consistency. 
Add 40g chopped nuts (this is optional; and I prefer pecan nuts), 5ml ground cinnamon, and 5ml lemon juice. Mix well.

Place into a suitable loaf pan that’s been greased. Bake for 50-60 minutes on 160 degrees Celsius, or until a skewer comes out clean. 

Now here’s two variations that I often use: 
BANANA MUFFINS – If you have a muffin pan, they make a great dozen muffins that can be served at your next party. Or it’s a great way for kids to keep busy, and eat a relatively healthy snack during the lockdown period. If you opt for this, grease the muffin pan and divide the batter evenly. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 18-20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.โ€‹

MINI BANANA LOAVES – my little loaf pan has been the greatest addition to my kitchen! You take a simple recipe like this one, split it up into the greased mini-loaf pan, bake, wrap beautifully, andย voila!ย You’ve got yourself a presentable and much-appreciated home-made gift! I’ve done this for Christmas gifts, Teacher’s gifts, Thank-you gifts, and slicing up these cute babies even please the crowds at a bring-and-share! You can bake these at 180 degrees Celsius for about 20-25 minutes.ย 

This recipe also freezes really well, so don’t be shy to try. Also, it rises quite a bit. So be sure not to overfill any pans you use. 2/3 full should do the trick.

Here’s a few ways I just quickly wrapped 3 mini loaves up using stuff I had at home (because, well, Lockdown! Haha!). The first one is actually a custom-made paper napkin ring we did a few years back for our Custom Christmas Boxes. But what a lovely feature, don’t you think? The second is the old faithful ribbon. The third is a nice custom sticker.ย 

And that’s that! If you’ve tried this, please comment below. Also, what other home-made baked goods have you given as thank-you gifts? Please share below too! You could inspire someone for their next event coming up ๐Ÿ™‚ 

I pray that the gift of restoration comes over our world!
Stay safe. Stay isolated. Stay positive. #COVID_19 #SAlockdown

Much love,