I should have known the recipe was dodgy. It didn’t actually have any dry ingredients -- just mashed banana, applesauce, maple syrup, cashew butter and baking soda. I didn’t have any cashew butter -- maybe that’s where I went wrong. And I knew, as soon as I took the Pyrex measuring cup out of the microwave, that I should not have melted the regular butter all the way down. But it was all the butter I had in the house, and I had to use it. The batter looked like cake batter when I was done, so I figured it would be all right if I just let it hang out in the oven.
I poked at the thing in the loaf pan with a fork, and the tines came away wet. I thought for a moment. More time in the oven didn’t seem like a great idea. Maybe it would dry out if I took it out of the loaf pan? I grabbed a plate and shook the pan, and out splotched the mush. I could not call it bread. The chocolate chips I’d thrown in were stuck to the bottom of the loaf pan, and as I scraped them out onto the plate, a light yellow halo of butter spread around the mush. “Um,” I said again. I didn’t understand! The comments on the recipe page had said it had all come together beautifully! “The most bread-like bread I’ve ever made!” said one. So what was this sorry bit of banana-slicked grease doing here?
Maybe it tastes good, I thought. I picked out a small piece and popped it in my mouth. The initial flavor was yummy and the way banana bread should taste, but as I bit down, it spurted with salty grease. I grimaced and swallowed. No. No, no, no. I walked away, washed the few dishes in the sink, and then came back to stare mournfully at the smush on the plate. I considered feeding it to the cat but I knew that even he wouldn’t touch it. Maybe if I’d had a dog. I couldn’t feed it to my boyfriend, I was worried he’d break up with me if I tried. Maybe there was a local “Home for Disastrously Awful Baked Goods” I could mail it off to.
Then a line from “Grease” (appopriately enough) came to me. “You shouldn’t eat this, you should bury it!” Hmm. The ground was soft from rain and I did have a shovel. So ten minutes later, I found myself out in my backyard, thwacking away at the ground with the shovel in one hand and the plate of... stuff... in the other. Once I had made a little hole, I tilted the plate and let the worst banana bread I’ve ever made slop and drip inelegantly into the dirt. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, mush to mush,” I said, shaking my head. My cat, who had followed me outside, mewed at me. “Not a word of this to Sam,” I whispered to him. “This will be our little secret.”