Thursday, August 20, 2009

But where's the butter???

My kitchen is small. I'm not complaining. It is very functional. But it is small. I intend to take photos of my work space for our future huge audience to look at and think, "How does she make such delectable treats in such a small workspace?"

In order to make the kitchen open to the rest of the house, thus making the house much more friendly, a wall containing cupboards was removed. And the pantry was removed to make a better space for the refrigerator. So where many people (including my sister, I'm sure) have a large pantry where they can store a multitude of supplies, my "pantry" consists of one drawer and one narrow 4 shelf cupboard.

So I don't have 3 types of flour and 5 kinds of sugar and buckets of nuts and chocolate. I buy what I need, in the smallest quantities I can buy. Not very economical, I know. But it makes sense for me.

But butter is different. We love butter. Well, I should say that Maddy, Cassandra, Sam and I love butter. When Sam eats a piece of bread, the butter is often larger than the bread. She can afford the calories. The rest of us really can't. I buy butter every time I go to the store. And since we started this blog, that was an excellent decision, because it has been all used up. Last time I went to the store, I bought TWO POUNDS of butter -- because there was a special.

I came home after a long day at work and went right to work on this week's recipe: Banana Carrot Loaf. I grated the carrots (3 medium carrots less the frequent bites I took out of them to get the grating over with). Did you use a food processor for this task Maria? I didn't and I think I had carpal tunnel syndrome at the end of the grating. I buttered and sprinkled the loaf pan with bread crumbs. No spray for me. If you've been reading carefully, you will understand why: a) no pantry, thus no room for spray; b) I love butter. I carefully sifted the dry ingredients. This is a recipe where I feel that Maida failed in her usual over-exuberance of instruction, because she didn't say we were supposed to sift the dry ingredients together. As Maria noted, cocoa and baking soda clump like crazy. I steamed the raisins (in an ill-fitting sieve over a pot which contained not quite enough water -- it was not a very successful venture). Yes, Maria, I used raisins. I will save my raisin discussion for another post.

And then I noticed the horror of this recipe. It doesn't contain butter!!! Here I was, with 2 pounds of butter in the fridge, and a recipe with no butter requirements. I thought about just melting some butter and using it instead of the Canola oil, but I actually did have Canola oil, and I'm trying to stick to Maida's recipes. Disappointed, I poured the oil into the mixing bowl. I felt like I was making mayonnaise.

About 45 minutes after putting the loaf into the oven, the house smelled amazing. I wish I was making it again tonight, since I made Tilapia for dinner and the house smells like fish. Yuck. I really wanted to eat some of the cake/bread/loaf when it came out of the oven, but I wanted to capture it on film.

This is a very tasty sweet bread. It is moist, and spicy, and has a faint chocolate taste. I sliced it all up, wrapped each slice carefully in cellophane (like the Brownies) and gave all but a few slices away. All recipients were grateful for the cake, with comments such as "Yummy" and "Awesome."
I only have one criticism. It would have tasted better with butter. I think I'll toast one of the remaining slices tomorrow morning and butter it.


  1. Suggestion: are you a Costco member? Their butter comes in two or 4 pound packages and is about 1/2 the cost of grocery store butter. The cake sounds yummy!