As most of you know, a tornado hit Moore, a suburb of Oklahoma City, this week. Oklahoma City is my hometown.
The news is reporting that 24 people died in the EF5 category tornado, including 9 children. Over 33,000 people have been affected by this terrible natural disaster.
My family and I made it out okay. We had no damage, but had to go into the storm shelter three times over the weekend.
Several of our friends had severe damage to their homes, and many were without power and water.
It's easy to make fun of Oklahoma. It's completely landlocked, way too right-wing for my taste, and the weather is crazy.
But one thing that you cannot ignore is the fact that we Oklahomans know how to persevere.
We've seen the Dust Bowl, the Murrah Bombing, the May 3rd, 1999 tornado, and now this. And we'll rebuild, just as we've always done. Just as sure as there will be a tornado season every year, there will be Oklahomans ready to rebuild what has been lost.
If you can, please donate to the Red Cross on behalf of Oklahoma Tornado Relief. And stay tuned. We'll be back. We always are.
Banana Bread with Honeyed Pecans
(Makes 2 loaves)
4 overripe bananas, smashed
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs, room temp
1/2 cup greek yogurt
2 tsp vanilla
Optional: 1 cup honeyed pecans- recipe follows
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour two bread pans. Sift the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, cream the sugar and butter until fluffy, then add eggs one at a time, continuing to mix. Mix in vanilla to butter mixture.
In another bowl, add the greek yogurt to the smashed bananas. Alternate 1/2 portions of banana mix and dry mix to the butter mixture, while beating continuously. Finished batter should be well-mixed, but still lumpy (don't overbeat the mixture).
Add in the half of the pecans, then pour the mix into the two bread pans. Use the remaining pecans on top and bake for 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the bread to rest and cool before removing from the bread pans and serving.
1 bag raw pecan halves
1/2 cup melted butter
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Lay a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet pan and sprinkle the pecan halves around the pan. Drizzle the pecans with melted butter, using your hands to toss the pecans well. Drizzle the honey over the pecans, mixing with your hands, then mix in the brown sugar, making sure to coat the pecans evenly. Spread the pecans back out in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes- but don't let the pecans turn black. They should turn a slightly darker shade of brown, and the brown sugar/honey glaze should caramelize on the nuts. Keeps well in a dry container for at least a week.