Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Nistler Disease

Shortly after I began dating my husband, I became acutely aware of his penchant for falling asleep anywhere while doing anything. During a movie, during a meal, in the middle of a conversation, while driving.  You name it, Paul could definitely sleep through it!  His narcolepsy always followed a similar pattern:  first the eyes would begin to glaze over, followed by a slow drooping of the lids.  Then came the head bobbing as he struggled to fight off the fatigue before finally giving in and allowing his chin to rest on his chest.  Then came the snoring.

I was unaware that this ability to instantaneously doze off was in fact a familial trait until I visited Paul's family shortly after we were married.  We were driving into town with several of his siblings piled into the back seat of the car.  We had been having what I thought was a lively, stimulating conversation when suddenly I realized that Paul and I were the only ones speaking.  We looked behind us to find everyone in a trance, their eyes closed and their heads a-bobbing.  Later that evening, we tried to watch a movie as a family and no more than 20 minutes into it, I realized that I was the only one awake.  Everyone else was once again sleeping with their heads bobbing in rhythm.  Pure genetics!

After Matthew was born, he never slept.  Ever.  There were nights where Paul and I took turns staying up bouncing with him because he simply refused to sleep.  I was pretty sure that his insomnia came from my side of the family and that perhaps he had missed out on inheriting his father's deep-seeded need for regular sleep.  However, as he has grown, I think he has begun to develop the "Nistler Sleeping Disease."

I have video evidence to prove it...

Did I mention that alcohol in any capacity also knocks my husband out?  In any form.  Even when there is only a bit of it in the glaze of this banana bread.  Paul ate about half the loaf in one sitting and then felt exhausted.  It might have also had something to do with an uncomfortably full stomach.  Either way, this Bananas Foster Bread is absolutely to die for - especially if you enjoy a good rum flavor!  The bread really captures the traditional flavors of a bananas foster dessert.  It tastes extremely indulgent and would be great warm with a scoop of ice cream.  I could have (and should have!) licked all of the glaze from the pot.  Delicious!

Bananas Foster Bread
from Brown Eyed Baker

For the Bread:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3 medium bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk

For the Streusel Topping:
1½ cups chopped walnuts
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter

For the Rum Glaze:
¼ cup (4 tablespoons) butter
2 tablespoons water
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup rum

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.

Combine ingredients for streusel topping in a medium bowl and combine with fingers to create a crumbly topping with the butter evenly distributed. Set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl to combine. Set aside.

On medium speed, beat the sugar and vegetable oil to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each until combined. Add the mashed bananas and vanilla extract; beat to combine. Alternatively add the flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat just until the flour is incorporated and finish mixing with a spatula.

Spread batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the batter. Bake until a thin knife inserted in the center comes out almost clean, about 60 minutes.

To make the rum glaze, combine the butter, water and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum. Set aside and cover to keep warm.

Cool the cake on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then, using a skewer poke holes all over the top of the loaf. Spoon about ¼ cup of the rum glaze all over the loaf. Let the cake sit for about 5 minutes and then spoon the remaining glaze over it, a little at a time, until it is all absorbed into the bread.

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