As part of our recent plan to given M a substantial bedtime snack, M and I sat down to discuss what sort of foods he could choose from before bed. I originally proposed a bowl of cereal or a couple of slices of toast, but quickly learned that this caused M no end of confusion. Sometimes M struggles with his understanding of the world, can take things a little too literally and is very much a creature of habit. Unexpected changes to his routine have been known to throw him for a loop and cereal at bedtime proved to be one such thing. M very much associates cereal with breakfast and just couldn’t grasp that it would be okay for him to have it again later as a snack. No amount of patient explanation would persuade my obstinate lad to change his point of view and so I gave in to the inevitable, abandoned that suggestion and hunted around for some “acceptable-to-both-of-us” alternatives.
We agreed on a few staples from the fridge and the store cupboard including Wot no Dairy! yoghurts, Frank* bars and Nakd bars, but I wanted to add something new to the equation too. Thinking hard, I remembered that M had been requesting banana bread for a while and I wondered if I could once again find and adapt a recipe to satisfy this craving. Around 4 and a half years ago, one of M’s godmothers, L, looked after him for an afternoon whilst I was at a check-up at our local eye hospital. I’m not sure she’ll even remember the occasion, but M certainly does, predominantly because that afternoon they baked banana bread together. This banana bread has gained a position in M’s memory as the best, most delicious banana bread in the whole wide world ever and nothing has ever compared, or even come close. He talks about the amazing smell and delicious taste, whilst the rest of us have, I have to confess, pretty much forgotten all about it,
My challenge, therefore, was set. To create a loaf of banana bread that not only met M’s current dietary requirements, but that also needed to equal the memory of L’s bake all those years ago and I was ready to give it a go. I found a relatively simple recipe, adapted it to suit and set about whipping up my masterpiece. The smell of baking banana bread tantalised both M and G, who were forced to wait patiently until bedtime to sample it.
Our kitchen was silent as they took their first, and then subsequent bites and Mike and I waited nervously for the verdict. G declared it instantly as the “best thing she’s eaten, ever” and was full of praise. M was a little more discerning in his comments. My banana bread was great, as the empty plates in front of my children attested to, BUT it comes a very close second, as L’s still tops the rankings in his opinion. So L, if you’re reading this and have even the vaguest recollection of that now infamous banana bread and the recipe you used, please give me a clue, so that I too can bake the “Best banana bread in the world”.