Downton Abbey: Have a spot of tea...and Banana Bread?! PLUS - funny update!
Happy Friday, Friends! This was a post from February 2014 but it relates to a FUNNY UPDATE that happened recently - I hope you enjoy and let me know if you make this!
Okay, I'm feeling somewhat witty today.....I've been on an addict's kick of Downton Abbey. If you haven't watched this delightful series on PBS then you really are missing out!
I admit that I do become "addicted" to certain television shows.....it's a bad habit of mine, but alas.....it's something I truly enjoy so there you have it. It's kind of like reading a good book.....once I start it I can't put it down until it's finished. I'm OCD like that! :) I heard about Downton a few weeks ago, but didn't have the time to succumb to another series so I left it until last week. I found that I could watch it on Amazon for free.....imagine.....4 complete series episodes ripe for the picking! Besides the Olympics there hasn't been much on TV so I decided to watch the first one.....and go from there. Almost a week later.....and I'm somewhat sad.....I only have one episode left of the FIFTH series....yep, I found out there is a fifth series. It's odd because on our TV it says it's the FOURTH series, but on UK TV it's called the FIFTH series. No matter.....I was overjoyed to find it on PBS so I can get up to speed!
I absolutely adore the series.....It's set in England in the 1910's - 1920's. There is hardly a cuss word to be heard, no majorly inappropriate scenes, high society, lots of tea drinking (yes, I'm a huge fan of tea), intrigue......it's absolutely marvelous!! I urge you to join the masses of fans by watching it just once....I'm sure you will be like me and be hooked!
Watching all those English gentleman's and ladies drinking their tea brought out the tea lover in me. I've always liked tea (hot, mind you).....might have something to do with that fact that my great Aunt was British. She was a war bride and came to live on Cherry Creek where I grew up all the way from London! She was a Brit through and through.....I loved her dry humor. :)
My family goes through a big tea drinking phase every winter until calving season is done. It started up a bit ago and is not in full swing here (fueled by my obsession of Downton Abbey). Here is my teapot (I love it.....it's so "me"!):
And my very favorite tea in all the world:
Stash tea is one of the most popular teas in the world and truly good tasting. Tea bags are quite practical, but all of a sudden I have a true interest in using loose leaf tea. I've found a couple of sites that explain the process. I'm going to share them with you here:
Seven Cups and Teavana seem to be the most popular on Google. I can't wait to delve into the whole world of tea.....new interests truly excite me! (My husband is in his recline rolling his eyes.....not that I care!) :)
I have been home uninterrupted for a few days (watching Downton Abbey with my eyes glued to the TV). Okay, it's not quite that bad, but I've been watching a lot of it......while I tend to other things of course. I decided that with all the tea we've been drinking that something sweet was in order to go with it. Banana Bread popped into my head.....so I decided to make some. The recipe I use comes out of a Betty Crocker cookbook that my Mom gave me many, many years ago. It was the first cookbook that I ever received from someone....and I hold it dear (even though it is almost in pieces from overuse). As you can tell by the photo (food stains and that is has fallen out of the book), this recipe has been used a lot!
This is my old standby Banana Bread recipe.....it's my favorite by far too. Here it is for you to try and enjoy:
1 ¼ cups Sugar
½ cup stick margarine or butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups mashed ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium)
½ cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup chopped nuts, if desired
Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans (or 4 small loaf pans) with shortening. Mix sugar and butter in large bowl.
Stir in eggs until well blended.
Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
*I use powdered buttermilk as I don't usually have it on hand. It is so easy to use...and so convenient to have on hand whenever I need it way out here!*
Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt just until moistened. Stir in the nuts.
Pour into pans.
Bake 8-inch loaves about 1 hour, 9-inch loaf about 1 ¼ hours, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pans on wire rack.
Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.
And there you have it.....incredible Banana Bread (if I do say so myself). Enjoy a slice with some butter and a hot cup of tea.....I swear it will be heavenly.
I make Banana Bread frequently....and it's always delicious. Recently my family and I went to see Beauty & The Beast at the movie theater. We enjoyed it! The next day I made Banana Bread and lost my grip on my new glass Bread pan. Voila! I give you.....Beauty & The Beast Banana Bread! 😊
I will tell you it tasted as good as always thanks to my floor being clean! I love to see the humor in things....this definitely didn't miss the mark. Happy Friday, Friends!