Strange Bedfellows: Banana Peanut Butter Bread

Once again, our gracious host Renard of has welcomed me as a guest on his wonderful blog. I managed to get it under the deadline, too; it was published in February, which is a Black History Month, albeit on the last day of it. This is what happens when you teach eight courses, when the full teaching load is five, and I am technically supposed to work only part-time. I guess in some situations I resemble President McKinley, whose father told him, “It’s a good thing you are not a girl, otherwise you’ll always be pregnant – you just can’t say no!” Hopefully, I won’t be assassinated, though.

Here it is, Beautiful People, in honor of the Black History Month.

The story of tragic love that had appeared about fifteen centuries before “the star-crossed lovers” Romeo and Juliet is the myth of the poet and musician Orpheus and his doomed wife Euridice. From Virgil and Ovid to the French existentialists Cocteau and Anouilh, and to a graphic novel by Mazzucchelli, from literature and fine art to theater, cinematography, opera and ballet, a determined Orpheus makes a perilous trip to Hades (the underworld, or the Kingdom of the Dead), trying to bring his beloved Euridice back to the world of living. His music charms even Cerberus, the three-headed dog, employed as Hades’ security guard, and enchants Hades himself, who allows Orpheus to bring Euridice out if she does not look back. If his lyre sounded anything like Gluck’s famous flute solo, I am not surprised:

Tragically, a curious Euridice does sneak a glance back (if this reminds you of Lot’s wife, she lived quite a few centuries earlier than Euridice) and is dragged back by the “shades,” or ghosts of the dead, as you can see in this clip from the immortal ballet of Igor Stravinsky choreographed by George Balanchine:

Imagine my surprise when I heard a number from the lauded folk opera Hadestown by Anaïs Mitchell and realized that we were back to the same Orpheus myth, yet lived in our days and sang and danced to music of jazz, spirituals, and even rap. If you, Beautiful People, think that an ancient Greek myth and Afro-American beats are strange bedfellows, watch this:

You’d have to listen to the very end of this clip to be hit by the powerful impact of every word of “Why We Build the Wall” and the magnificent bass that delivers it. Strange combination as it might be, this interpretation of Orpheus brings home the world we live now and its daily tragedies. It is even more poignant during the Black History month when we commemorate the heroic struggle of African Americans.

My latest baking experiment was also a strange combination: banana and peanut butter make strange bedfellows when baked together. However, anything combined with chocolate should be good, right?

As you see, it is pretty simple: just mash up overripe or frozen and defrosted bananas together with peanut butter, dump it into the bread bucket of the bread machine, and add the rest of the liquid ingredients – prostokvasha (clabbered milk), olive oil, and agave. As usual, dry ingredients are added last: whole wheat and spelt flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, and, to top it all off, chocolate chips. Yeast and a pinch of salt are important, as it is a bread, after all. I also add a pinch of baking powder, to make it rise better, and a sprinkle of cinnamon, to give off that heavenly aroma. Press Whole Wheat on your machine a go rest for a few hours. I served it still warm, laced with chocolate syrup, garnished with fresh raspberries. “Yay! Triple chocolate!” – squealed the grandkids, and the adults were not far behind gobbling it up.


  1. 3 large bananas, overripe or frozen and defrosted
  2. 1 cup peanut butter
  3. 1 cup prostokvasha (clabbered milk)
  4. 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  5. 1 cup white spelt flour
  6. 1/3 cup olive oil
  7. 1/3 cup agave
  8. 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  9. 2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
  10. Pinch of baking powder
  11. Sprinkle of cinnamon
  12. Pinch of salt
  13. 1/2 cup unsweetened dark chocolate chips
  14. Chocolate syrup and berries to garnish


  1. Mash up bananas with peanut butter, add liquid ingredients.
  2. Add dry ingredients.
  3. Set bread machine on Whole Wheat.
  4. Serve warm or cold, garnish with chocolate syrup and berries of your choice


24 Comments Add yours

  1. Sounds like a good combo to me!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Dorothy.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Doug Thomas says:

    Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice” is a favorite opera of mine, and I think this is one of the most poignant and beautiful arias of all in operas featuring this legend.

    Ass for peanut butter banana bread, a great idea! I usually have peanut butter on banana bread anyway.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Oh, I love it too, and thank you for Marilyn Horne’s clip of it. It is so quintessentially Baroque.
      I am glad you like the recipe, Doug. If you do make it, please let me know how it comes out..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Doug Thomas says:

        It may be awhile. My phosphorus level was up this month, and the hospital nutritionist reminded me that bananas are a high source of that, that I can stop my heart if I don’t watch high phosphorus foods.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh bummer! So many things to watch… Take care of yourself, Doug.


      3. Doug Thomas says:

        That’s such a satisfying performance, I agree!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I did watch all the way to “Build the Wall” and i wish i could go see this show.

    The bread sounds delicious and since i have a bread machine, i have no excuse not to make it!


    1. Thank you so much, dear Mimi. Please let me know how it turns out.


    1. My pleasure, dear Lakshmi.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. CarolCooks2 says:

    I love good banana bread and with PB and chocolate I’m sure it’s a winner 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Carol.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Another delightful set of cultural links, Dolly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Derrick.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Perhaps you should retitle this to: “Strange Breadfellows…”


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the idea, Mr Wordsmith (meant as a compliment!). I’ll think about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Garfield Hug says:

    I am sure it tastes good as I make peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Learnt that this combination tastes good when I was an undergrad living in USA. So I am your baked item will taste superb.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment, darling.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sounds yummy! I always enjoy the mix of cooking, culture, and history you somehow manage to weave into your posts, Dolly. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Anna.


  9. Americaoncoffee says:

    Ha! What a delicious come on.😁

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Aloya says:

    Looks so yummy 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

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