I have made a kind of New Year’s resolution for 2016, to make every recipe in my 2006 edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook (and blog it!). This is a general-cookery-and-kitchen-things cookbook that my mother gave me for Christmas several years ago. It contains hundreds of recipes (an accurate count is now on my priorities list) and less specific advice regarding such topics as buying cuts of meat, serving large numbers of people, and useful kitchen equipment.
This resolution was largely inspired by the book (I haven’t yet read) and movie (I saw a couple of years ago on a trip with Charlie), Julie and Julia. The main plot of that story is that the author, Julie Powell, undertakes to complete every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a single year. I have not yet settled on a time limit for my project, and I suspect there are more than the 500-some-odd recipes of Julia Child’s book in my book by the corporation known as Betty Crocker*.
* I’m pretty sure Betty Crocker was the name of a real person who was at some point involved in that company’s history. But this cookbook was not written by a single person, anymore than Julia Child’s book was the work of her alone.
Recipe #1: Banana Bread (pg. 68)
I am spending New Year’s – December 26 through December 5 – at our family Cottage on Lake Skootamatta in eastern Ontario. This is a wonderful property that I have many, many fond memories of, and after talking about this for years, I have brought Charlie here for our winter vacation. This cottage lacks few amenities of home, but on that short list of lacks are a few of the ingredients for this recipe. I decided to tackle it as my first recipe anyway because it uses few eggs (we’re not yet running low, but Charlie and I do eat many eggs when we’re together) and it finishes off our rather sad banana supply.
We had only 1 banana left, and the recipe calls for three, so I just cut everything else to a third. Other missing ingredients include buttermilk (substituted regular 2% milk) and vanilla (substituted a splash of whisky). I also had to scrounge for a baking pan, but a round Plexiglas dish served well enough.
Overall, I’m satisfied. I’d like to try this recipe again, full-scale (the recipe calls for 2 eggs, which are difficult to cut by thirds) and with the proper no-substitutions ingredients.