Baking, Like Everything Else…

…is different in the Czech Republic.

Today, I continued my slow return to the normal state of things by baking. Baking bread- Chocolate chip banana bread.

(please read that last sentence in a James Bond voice).

Yesterday I went to the grocery store to buy the necessary ingredients. Flour and sugar were no problem, but baking soda and baking powder were almost impossible to find. Finally I did find them- hidden  between vanilla powder and instant pudding. They only sold them in tiny little packets that are good for about 2 uses. Very odd indeed to an American! Though I can see the appeal, especially since each packet was only 3-6 krowns.

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I was also unable to find chocolate chips. Chocolate chips! I thought these were pretty standard grocery items, but maybe not. Is baking not really a thing in the Czech Republic? Do people just not like chocolate? I have noticed that fruit, poppyseed, and cream cheese flavored pastries are much more common than chocolate. So, maybe. Hmmm.

Luckily, I came up with a solution. And that solution was to chop up a Milka bar.

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Another challenge, as you can see in the picture, was that we have almost no cooking utensils. I mean, we only have the one pot pictured above, and definitely no mixing bowls.

(We used to have three pots, but then two of them broke- one only seconds after being A) in Liam’s hand and B) full of boiling water)

So, yes, I made my batter in a big stew pot.

And apparently my guestimating skills are improving because, wouldn’t you know, we also don’t have measuring spoons/cups.

Challenge #3: The bananas I bought this morning from the Potraviny next door (corner store/fruit & vegetable stand/cheap liquor store) were not ripe enough. However! A little research online showed me that if I put the bananas in the oven at about 150 C for, say, 20 minutes or so, they would be smooshy and sweet, perfect for bread. I tried this and it actually worked! Ok, they were kind of liquidy and looked like something a baby had thrown up and maybe left a bizarre banana scented gel on the countertop. But they were mushy and sweet and blended perfectly with my batter.

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So, in the end my banana bread came out more of a banana cake. Bar. Thing. It’s tasty, anyways. Especially the giant chunks of Milka bar.

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3 thoughts on “Baking, Like Everything Else…

  1. I am going to call you Hannah Banana. And next time your mother holds a brunch, I expect you to make your chocolate chip banana bread! Forget my blueberry crumb muffins, I want your banana bread. And I will bring the baking soda and baking powder!
    xo,Robin

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