Years ago when Bruce and I bought our home I noticed that the former owners planted strawberry plants on the side of our house behind the shed and next to the fence. At the time, there were no berries on the plants and over the years, I completely forgot about them… Until just the other day.
I was out weeding my little garden and was tossing the weeds in a pile next to the fence. As I looked at my growing pile of weeds I noticed little flecks of red tucked amongst the foliage. I stopped what I was doing and headed towards the vibrant red colors. Strawberries! And bunches of them! The forgotten strawberry patch grew over the years and produced handfuls of delicious little berries. I grabbed my garden basket and picked a couple of pints of the succulent little berries. Some of the berries were feasted upon by snails and slugs but most of the berries were perfectly intact. What a score!
Every year, I grow herbs in big pots on the patio next to my kitchen. That way, I can step out the side door and snip what I need while I am cooking. In the pots I have fresh dill, oregano, rosemary, basil, parsley, chives, mint, tarragon, sage, and marjoram. I love using fresh herbs when I cook. Growing your own herbs is easy and many herbs are even perennial. Herbs that are perennial mean that they grow back every year. I added a small handful of dill to my basket of strawberries for some grilled salmon later in the evening.
With my basket of fresh picked strawberries, I decided to make Strawberry Banana Bread. I used my basic banana bread recipe and I am happy to say that it was pretty good! The only thing that I would change is that the next time I make it is I would use an 8 X 4 inch pan instead of the 9 X5 inch pan. The Strawberry Banana Bread took a bit longer to bake than I wanted and the exterior was a tad bit darker than I would like. It was moist and flavorful but as Bruce would say, I have my standards :). So, here’s the recipe… Take my advice and use a slightly smaller pan. You might even try baking the batter in muffin tins for wonderful little strawberry banana muffins. Enjoy! Tessa
- 4 bananas (mashed well)
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup chopped strawberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 X 5 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium sized bowl add mashed bananas, melted butter, sugar, eggs and lemon extract. Mix well. In another bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix well. Gently fold in the strawberries. Add mixture to greased baking pan and bake for about an hour or until done. Use a toothpick to check. Let cool on baking rack and slice. Makes one loaf.