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Guest: The Way Banana Crumbles

By: | November 1, 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 184 comments

I am delighted to welcome my dear friend Dolly @ koolkosherkitchen back here again as a Guest.  Please friends, you just have to check out her blog and follow her, you will not be disappointed.
You know “the way the cookie crumbles”: the expression is “used to underline a failure of an action, or disappointment in reaching an undesired result, with the additional meaning that the result was not an unexpected one (www.urbandictionary.com). It seems that the phrase was coined by a great American actor Jack Lemmon (www.phrases.org.uk).

Quite an unexpected turn of events, wouldn’t you think? And where would you expect the unexpected if not in Salem, Massachusetts, especially in October? All decked out for Halloween, adorable little witches and ghosts running around (why wait for one night when fun events are happening every day!), and special exhibitions in local museums – what more could one desire?
Tucked away on 10 Blaney street, close to Salem ferry, is a fascinating place hardly anyone knows about, Herb Mackey’s Metal Sculpture Yard. Dinosaurs and robots, and all kinds of whimsical creatures made of scrap metal (old plumbing, rusty machine parts, gears, and other mysterious things I can’t even name) greet you as you walk in. You never see Mr. Mackey – at least no one I know has been able to! – but some of the smaller masterpieces bear price tags that are simply laughable, like maybe $20 or $30 for a sculpture that definitely belongs in a museum. If you want to purchase one, simply put your cash (“pictures of dead presidents”) through a mail slot in the door. Oh, and in case you get thirsty, Mr. Mackey stocks a tiny refrigerator with water bottles, $1 each, to be deposited in the same mail slot. He does have a funky sense of humor: the plaque on the door reads “On this site in 1897 nothing happened.” Having seen plaques on almost every building in Salem announcing that something important happened there, you appreciate the subtle barb.
Banana Crumble 1
Following Mr. Mackey’s example, I thought to tinker with some scraps of ingredients and see what happens. I had a couple of bananas in the freezer, waiting for their chance to be useful. I also had a handful of raw sunflower seeds, so I decided to introduced them to bananas, add some flour (I used a combination of spelt and whole wheat, but gluten-free flour could be substituted), my dairy-free prostokvasha (clabbered milk, for recipe click here), brown sugar, and a couple of eggs. I would’ve used aquafaba, to make it vegan, but I ran out of it. Feel free to substitute, though. And, of course, it’s not a dessert, if it’s not chocolate, so cocoa powder was an essential part of this experiment.
Banana Crumble 2
As I felt particularly pressed for time (read LAZY), I simply dumped all this stuff into the bread machine, in the usual order – liquid ingredients first, followed by dry ones – and pressed the “Cake” button. To a naked eye, it seemed that there was a disproportionate volume of liquid to only a cup and a half of flour. Oh well, perhaps I’d have a really moist cake?
Laughing banana
What emerged from my bread machine at the sound of “Ready” beep, was a nice crust with unbaked slushy middle. That’s the way banana crumbles sometimes! But am I going to let some bananas defeat me? No way! I placed the crust on the bottom of a loaf pan and crumbled everything else on top. Then I sent it to the oven until toothpick-test ready.
Banana Crumble 3
You can skip the bread machine part, Beautiful People, and you can do what Mr. Mackey does with his scrap metal: tinker with stuff and expect the unexpected. I have never made this before and didn’t even know it existed, but here it is, super moist, chocolaty and delicious Banana Crumble!
3/4 cup spelt flour
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (gluten-free flour could be substituted for both)
2 ripe bananas, mashed up
1/2 cup prostokvasha (clabbered milk) or any dairy free yogurt
1/2 cup aquafaba or 2 eggs, whisked
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds or any crushed nuts or seeds of your choice
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
A pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 425 F. Lightly mist baking pan (alternatively, loaf pan) with oil.
Combine wet ingredients, gradually add dry ingredients, mix gently but thoroughly.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until a crust forms on the bottom and sides, but the middle remains wet.
Empty into a bowl. Use thin pieces of crust to line bottom of oiled baking (loaf) pan. Crumble remainder of underbaked batter, pour into pan.
Reduce temperature to 350 F. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.


Prepared, tried and tested by Dolly @ koolkosherkitchen
Guest Bloggger
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  1. Oh I’ve just found your blog and you’re Amazing and I love your love for food and cooking.My mother also loves cooking and she loves to bake. She’s the best cook.
    I have followed you so that I won’t miss the recipes in future🌼
    .Actually I’m a beginner so plz follow me back so that I that I have a constructive feedback in future.Thanku in advance.💞

  2. I love the presentation! I am a cat person after all. And, especially this time of year, New England is so beautiful.

  3. I love Salem …. not so much for the Witches as for the really relaxed and inclusive vibe that it has. Mr Mackey clearly epitomizes this state of mind and I must make sure I visit the next time I go because – you guessed it, I had NO idea he was there despite visiting many times whilst living in MA. I might even buy a sculpture. Why not? But might is not an option with this gorgeous banana—chocolate confection. This is a serious must and since I don’t have a bread machine here and I only have one of those multifunction little singing, dancing microwave combi ovens I will certainly don my lab coat and dance to an experimental tune. Fun times! 💃

    • This sounds absolutely awesome – I am waiting to see the outcome of this dancing experiment

    • I love Salem mostly for fantastic antique and craft stores, but those little kiddies running around in costumes were simply precious!
      Mr Mackey is certainly one of a kind, even among the New England characters, each of whom is unique in his own way. I jumbled all my photos into one collage because I wanted to convey the feeling of a yard crowded with what at first looks like a dumping ground for scrap metal until a robot peeks out from a bush, or a dragon is perched on a wall… It is an amazing little place, the best kept Salem secret.
      I also love the Peabody Essex museum – have you seen the newly built addition? Very cleverly integrated with older architectural design. I have not exhausted my “travel impressions” by any means, but meanwhile, have fun experimenting – enjoy!

      • It is a treasure trove for antiquing and foraging – that’s for sure. And also for sure you have discovered the best secret of all. I can’t wait to go back now. I was last at PEM late last year the new construction was not done then. Another brilliant reason to hightale it over to Salem when (when, mind you) I return to US soil. I love experimenting – my husband says part of our connection is that we are both experimentalists though I think his are a little more highbrow than mine!!!!

  4. Thanks for hosting the fabulous Dolly again, Esme. I second your encouragement to follow her – it is a must not miss blog, IMHO, even if you don’t cook. She always includes a fascinating bit of history as an introduction to her beautifully presented and photographed recipes, liberally peppered with her unique sense of humor (and more than a little bit of chocolate!). 🙂
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

  5. What fun. My favorite way to cook is to just go with what I have at hand, but I’ve never tried it with baking. Actually, I never bake. You are braaaave..

  6. Reblogged this on koolkosherkitchen and commented:
    It was a great honor for me to be invited as a guest by the most gracious hostess, Esme The Recipe Hunter. Here is my guest post, Beautiful People, and do yourselves a favor – go visit her fabulous blog!

  7. Dear Esme, as always, I am honored to be a guest on your fabulous blog, and I thank you for featuring my recipe and, of course, for your kind introduction.
    Much love! 😻

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