Beth Maitland (Traci)
RUBY’S COMFORT CUSTARD
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup cream (“I use 2 cups of half-and-half instead since we don’t drink milk, and to keep the fat down a bit.”)
1/3 cup monk fruit powdered sweetener (“You can substitute Splenda or just use sugar if so desired.”)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
• Heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking dish with olive oil butter. (“I use spray ghee from Trader Joe’s.”)
• Hand-whisk all ingredients together vigor- ously until bubbles sit on top of mixture. (“I don’t use a beater or blender, just muscle and good intentions.”)
• Pour gently into prepared baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.
• Remove from oven and let stand for 10 min- utes before serving.
From The Chef
Where did you get this recipe? “It was handed down by my Depression-era cook grandmother, Ruby, who raised me till I was 6. I use it all of the time, having raised chickens for 20-plus years, which gave me a ready supply of fresh organic eggs. I’ve been making comfort custard for decades.”
Why did you use this recipe while in lockdown? “This custard is super-easy and relatively fast. It can bake while we eat our dinner for a warm and comforting sweet treat before bed.”
Why monk fruit sweetener instead of sugar? “For a more Keto lifestyle. You can love this creamy treat without guilt over the sugar/carbs. It’s warm, creamy, light and slightly sweet, and full of protein.”
Have you made any additions? “I top with fresh berries or crumbled granola or chopped cashews.”
This recipe seems pretty foolproof. “It turns out perfectly every time. The bet- ter you whip the ingredients, the more creamy the cooked texture. Bubbles are the key.”
How often do you make this recipe while sheltering in place? “At least once a week. I don’t eat a lot of sweets, but my daughter is here with me and loves a light, creamy treat.”
Does cooking help you to relieve stress? “I think most of us are learning
to be creative to relax in these uncertain times. Cooking, reading, crafting or, in my case, quilting, are great uses of our creativity and a way to improve ourselves and enrich our loved ones who share our space.”
Sharon Case (Sharon)
PERFECT BANANA BREAD
2 to 3 very ripe bananas, peeled (about 11⁄4 to 11⁄2 cups mashed)
1/3 cup melted butter (unsalted or salted is fine)
1 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
3⁄4 cup sugar (1⁄2 cup if you prefer less sweet, 1 cup for more sweet)
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
11⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 4×8-inch loaf pan.
• In mixing bowl, mash ripe bananas with a fork until completely smooth. Stir in melted butter.
• Mix in baking soda and salt. Stir in sugar, beaten egg and vanilla extract. Mix in flour. • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
• Remove from oven and let cool in pan for a few minutes. Then remove the banana bread and let cool completely before serv- ing. Slice and serve.
From The Chef
Where did you get this recipe? “I found this recipe online and I made it just a few weeks before the quarantine. This is my new favorite banana bread ever!”
Why is this a good food to make during the quarantine? “It was the first thing I wanted to make because it’s such a per- fect comfort food.”
Did you follow the recipe by the letter or did you make any changes? “There’s an option to add nuts or chocolate chips. I added the chocolate chips and I reduced the sugar from 1 cup to 3⁄4 cup. The recipe suggests doing so if you want to.”
Does cooking help to relieve stress? “I’ve always loved to cook and it usu- ally is a stress reliever, but I feel like I’ve made 935 meals since quarantine! I’m looking forward to dining out, hopefully, sometime soon.”