Saturday, 4 February 2012

Grateful for newborn calves and choc chip banana loaf

Hubby woke up this morning and as he made me a cup of tea - thought he was seeing things through the window ...a tiny calf in the far paddock.

He went to check and so it was - so off we all went to for a closer look !

The umbilicus ? still attached.

Not that it was totally unexpected he did put Grandpa's Angus bull over the cows about 9 months ago. Then we left them to it.

According to the cattle gestation chart in his diary - the first calves weren't expected until February 14th. Though I read younger cows (like ours can calve 10 days earlier) so I am calf watch from now on.

We own 11 cows and we are not totally sure how many are in calf because the Bull preferred the other ladies instead and escaped at first chance a few weeks later into a large heavily tree'd he did again today.

Sam & Joel also own a Cow & calf each , a gift from their Grandpa. Their cows & calves escaped too with another one of our 11. The rest of our little herd they got back after a little game of chasey with Hubby and his cousin (K was over Grandpa's working on fences).

Hubby unlocked the padlock on the gate to the lane way to fix it, the chain was across and he came back for lunch. Somehow it came open - we suspect the Bull pushed on it and the chain wasn't latched securely.

Today , I got my apron on and started baking. I wanted to bake some treats for the boys who start school on Monday *sob*. Chocolate coconut slice and Low fat choc-chip banana loaf that I am trying in the bread maker. The oven is small and not too good at getting and staying hot - so I made the slice in it.

Ingredients ~ Low fat choc-chip banana loaf

2 cups S/R flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon bicarb of soda
2/3 cup caster sugar 
1 cup choc chips ( I used dark)
2 eggs 
1 cup buttermilk ( I substituted 1/4 cup lowfat milk & with 1 teaspoon lemon juice & 3/4 cup natural yoghurt because I had no BM)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup mashed bananas

Icing sugar to dust


  1. Preheat oven to 180 ° (if using loaf pan - grease and line it)
  2. Sift flour , bicarb of soda and cinnamon in a medium bowl, stir in sugar & choc bits (I used dark) and mix in well.
  3. Whisk together in a jug - eggs , buttermilk (or my substitute) , olive oil and bananas until smooth
  4. Stir mixture into flour mix , then spoon into prepared loaf tin - or toss it all in bread-maker like I did.
  5. Bake at 180° for 45- 55 minutes until brown and knife or skewer comes out clean from center of loaf. If using a large or deeper loaf pan, increase time to 50-60 minutes. 
  6. Leave to cool in loaf tin for 10 mins - turn out onto wire rack - Serve and dust with icing sugar if desired - consume responsibly !
{How low fat it is I know not - but it should serve 10 ?} 

The result was a very moist, not too sweet banana bread perfect with a cup of tea.

I noticed this one is a different texture to last time I made it in my previous oven - could it be the buttermilk substitute  or the bread maker and a short, deeper loaf tin ?

The choc coconut slice is overcooked very crunchy - it was too soft so I left it longer and longer ...covered with icing and coconut it is still very edible ! I also reduced the sugar, butter by a 1/4 - 1/5 and added rolled oats - so it makes a difference too maybe. I confess I am not an expert on tweaking recipes.

I 'd be grateful to know how to stop the choc chips from sinking ?