I've got way too much stuff going on in my life right now. There's work, of course, and the usual stuff around the house. My youngest sister is getting married in six weeks in Pennsylvania, and Brianna, Gillian, and I are all in the wedding. So I'm trying to get things organized for that, including travel arrangements (got the plane tickets last week, thank goodness). And Brianna starts kindergarten in three weeks. Wish me luck if you're reading this on Tuesday morning. Registration is from 9:00 to 1:00. I have to be at work at 11:15. Here's hoping I am near the head of the line and can get done in time.
Last week I got online one day at lunch and printed out the list of paperwork that I need to have for registration. Two of the things I need are Brianna's birth certificate and social security card. I knew I had both (I still need to go get a copy of Gillian's birth certificate; I wish they just sent one automatically), so that evening after work, I started trying to figure out where I put them. I couldn't find them. I looked through all the places in the house where I usually keep important stuff. I started to panic. Then a thought occurred to me--maybe I actually put them in the safe deposit box. I couldn't even remember the last time I'd been there. Well, the next morning, I hurried the girls out the door so I could drop them off early at daycare and head over to the branch where my box is (the one I work at doesn't have safe deposit boxes). And sure enough, that's where the birth certificate and social security card were. But I don't have any recollection of putting them there! I swear, sometimes I think I'm losing my mind! Motherhood has definitely had an interesting effect on my memory...
For instance, I have to review recipes more carefully these days. I used to be able to look at something once or twice and I'd be good to go. While I was working on this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, I must have gone back to look at the cookbook sitting on my kitchen table at least 4 or 5 times. And I still managed to forget an ingredient! (The rum, which fortunately was just for flavoring.) Of course, it doesn't help that more often than not, I've got one or both of my children trying to ask me something while I'm trying to cook or bake. I can't use that excuse for this one, though, since I didn't start the cake until they were in bed Sunday night. On second thought, my husband just pointed out that I can still blame it on them indirectly, since they're undoubtedly responsible for the sleep-deprivation that I'm always suffering... =)
Anyway, more about the cake... This week's selection is Black and White Banana Loaf, and it comes from Ashlee of A Year in the Kitchen. It's basically a pound cake, with banana and chocolate marbled together. You make the pound cake batter and add bananas that have been mashed with some lemon juice and zest. Then melted chocolate is added to half of the batter. The two batters are layered in a loaf pan, swirled and baked. Fortunately, I read the P&Q for this week's recipe before I started, so I was careful not to use too much banana. And when I put the batters in the pan, I just alternated spoonfuls of the two batters. I didn't really swirl them together at all, except for a little bit on the very top. I ended up baking my cake for about 75 minutes, tenting it with foil after the first 45 minutes to make sure it didn't get too brown on top.
The verdict? My cake was very moist. A little bit gummy on the very bottom, but not bad. I usually skip Dorie's instruction to put the loaf pan on a baking sheet, but I did it this time because of the long baking time. Next time I'll try it without the baking sheet for at least part of the time to see if that helps the bottom bake a bit better. My marbling came out really nice! And the taste was pretty good. I'm not a big banana person--I generally don't like them cooked, though I'll eat the occasional piece of banana bread. My other taste testers really seemed to like this one, though, except for Brianna (who's been in a picky mood lately). Want to try it for yourself? Head over to Ashlee's blog for the recipe, or pick up your very own copy of Baking From My Home to Yours!