Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Banana Bread and putting up wood for winter

Putting up wood for the winter is a big job.  Dave spends a lot of time cutting wood, bucking it up, splitting it, and then stacking it so it can dry.  We use about 6 cords of wood every winter in the new wood stove.  Because it is more efficient it saves us about 2 cords of wood a winter.
A cord of wood is 4 feet high, 4 feet deep, and 8 feet long.  We have about 3 cords here, stacked 6 feet high.

This year Dave had some wood delivered.  It came in 8 foot lengths.  Dave had to buck it up, split it and stack it (notice I said Dave, I didn't help).  It is a huge job, and he'll be sore for the rest of the week, so will my brother in law, back door neighbor and oldest son since they all helped.
Sunday morning's project, stacking this split wood.
They got it all cut into lengths, some of it stacked and all of it split between Friday afternoon and all day Saturday.  Sunday Dave spent the day stacking this pile.  It was cold and rainy, so not very fun work.
I thought a warm treat was in store for him (and I had a pile of bananas that were very ripe) so I made banana bread.
Dave next to the wood pile.  It is about 6 feet high and 42 feet long.  Dave looks thrilled to be doing this in the rain.

Dave was anxious to get this wood stacked.  He wants to leave for moose camp next weekend and the house rule is we have to have more wood at the house than he has at camp.  I think the house is a couple cords short.

Banana Bread
adapted from Baking Boot Camp

1/2 cup walnuts
2 c. all-purpose four
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. grated orange rind
3 very ripe bananas, peeled and lightly mashed
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. oat bran
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Grease and flour a 9 inch loaf pan.  Toast the nuts in a skillet over high heat, stirring frequently, until the nuts give off a good aroma and are just starting to brown.  Immediately transfer the nuts to a a bowl and cool completely.  Chop the nuts coarsely.

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder, add cooled, chopped nuts.  Ina another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the honey, grated orange rind and bananas and mix until well combined.  Add the eggs, one at a time, to the banana mixture, beating well after each addition.  Add the vanilla and mix until blended.  Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture all at once.  Stir until they are just blended into the batter. pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Mix topping ingredient.  Sprinkle topping over top of banana mixture.

Bake for 65-70 minutes, or until the bread begins to shrink from the edge of the pan and the center of the loaf springs back when lightly pressed.  Remove the bread from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes, then ease the bread out of the the pan and continue cooling on a rack.

August 29, 2012     Daylight  14 hours, 53 minutes, 27 seconds     Temp.  53ºF

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