Make sure your bananas are ripe...this is how you get the best and boldest flavor.
I'm not a pot smoker...or a smoker of any kind...never was. Quite frankly, I'm short enough (wink, wink).
But, I do have my medical marijuana card to deal with my insomnia. And I am a fan of the occasional edible. That said, gummies, chocolate and stale cookies from the dispensary are all well and good, but this homemade, multi-functional bread is way better.
Yes, it is legal for anyone to buy perfect, controlled weed like this in Massachusetts (at any time) and in other states that allow it, you can get the same with a medical license. No more dubious, back street deals!
Me and insomnia. Ugh. It started when I was about 48...just as the first glimpse of menopause began to show up in earnest...hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings...all the usual suspects.
I lasted about 7 months on less than 2 hours of solid sleep a night before crying, "Uncle!" or, more often, just plain crying.
So, I called the doctor for an appointment. For the short term, she gave me a script for Ambien...a magic little pill that knocked me out for 8+ hours a night at first, but ultimately leveled out at 5...still a good night's sleep in my book.
It was Dr. Guay (1942-2014) who saved me, though. He put me on a low dose Climara hormone replacement patch, carefully watching my bloods for any markers. I lived menopause-symptom-free for two glorious years, before Dr. Guay unexpectedly passed and my new doctor refused to prescribe the patch for me.
Needless to say, my insomnia and the many other side-effects of menopause returned with a vengeance. It was back to Ambien...though, this time, I only averaged about 5-or-less straight hours of sleep a night...and I was taking a "daily drug," something I had little to no interest in doing.
Flash forward to 2016. This is when Massachusetts legalized marijuana. Quite a big step for our state.
I'd long been making banana bread, but one day, I watched Sara Moulton make an especially amazing version. Sure, she creamed butter and sugar...and added the mandatory eggs, vanilla, flour, etc. But, and this is huge, she added fresh orange juice!
I mean, this is H.U.G.E! It offers brightness, a smidge more liquid (prevents drying out) and, most important, because -- again -- weed is now legal in Massachusetts...the perfect balance to work with the addition of a bit of cannabis, should one sleep-deprived-pantry-princess be so inclined.
We all know -- user or not -- weed has a very distinctive, earthy scent/taste/aura. However, when you add the bold taste of perfectly ripe bananas, dark chocolate chips and sharp chopped walnuts, these items coupled with Sara's sweet pop of fresh OJ masks the typical aftertaste.
Bottom line, this bread is delicious on its own, but you can choose to (and I did and sometimes still do) add a little ganja. This particular recipe definitely mellows and often completely hides the often maligned cannabis taste.
NOTE: Seems like a lot of banana, but, trust me, it makes for a moist and delicious bread! If you don’t have a fresh orange, a ¼ cup of orange juice is fine.
SECOND NOTE: If wanting to employ portion control, consider baking off in mini-cupcake tins. Just cut cooking time to about 25 minutes (but start checking doneness at 20 minutes).
Banana Bites were a big hit at our best pal's birthday party...but they were a smidge too potent, so had to cut in half. Needless to say, fun and lots of laughs were had by all.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
Mix together the vanilla, eggs and orange juice in a measuring cup or small bowl.
Cream the sugar and butter in a medium bowl until pale yellow and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add in the egg mixture and beat until creamy. Mix in the bananas until smooth. Pour the flour in 2 batches into the batter and mix on low speed until incorporated.
Remove from mixer and stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts with a wooden spoon. If living in a state where it is legal, this would be a good time to add about a half ounce (14 grams) of cannabis.
Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake 1 hour (check around 45 minutes, particularly if your oven runs hot), covering lightly with foil if the top gets too brown.