Banana bread with walnuts – and the haar….

Edinburgh really is a beautiful city, but being on the east coast it is prone to the haar sweeping in to spoil a beautiful late spring or summer day. Haar (variations include har, hare, harl, harr) is also known as sea fret or sea fog and tends to plague the east coast of Scotland and England, particularly between April and September. It’s caused by warmer moist air moving over the cooler North Sea, condensing and being blown inland for a few miles by sea breezes. It generally results in the temperature being several degrees lower that it should be and can mean that we sit shivering in Edinburgh whereas a few more miles inland it is a glorious day! Today is one of those days (Mr McGregor has actually had the heating on), so is ideal for baking. We did manage to spend yesterday in the sun in the garden, which has really exploded with colour and life over the last few weeks.

There are baby apples and courgettes promising some delicious treats later this summer… and lovely flowers on the blueberry bushes

Mr McGregor and I had a trip back to Nottinghamshire last weekend for a family wedding. The weather was glorious and we had a lovely time with our families. I went for a walk with my brother by the mighty River Trent, finishing up at a superb pub with a beer garden overlooking the local cricket pitch. What could be finer than that? Since you ask, it was the Reindeer at Hoveringham which serves beer from the Blue Monkey Brewery, one of Mr McGregor’s favourites. Mind you, after a walk on a hot day I stuck to lime and soda…..

Today I made Banana Bread – the recipe was given to me by a friend and I think it is a from a recipe by Marcus Wareing. It contains walnuts (my favourite nuts) and is a great way to use those ‘spare’, over-ripe bananas.

Banana Bread (pdf: Banana Bread)Banana bread

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

300g strong white bread flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

115g softened unsalted butter

40g caster sugar

4 over-ripe bananas, mashed (~550g total weight)

75g chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees/180 fan/gas 6. Grease and line a 1kg loaf tin
  2. Beat eggs with vanilla and almond extract
  3. Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl
  4. Cream butter and sugar together till light and fluffy
  5. Slowly beat in eggs until fully mixed (it will probably curdle, but do’t worry)
  6. Mix in the bananas (it will not look very attractive at this point, again don’t worry)
  7. Mix in the dry ingredients and walnuts in thirds until fully mixed in
  8. Pour into loaf tin and level
  9. Bake for 50-55 minutes until top is firm but inside a little soft
  10. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then turnout onto a rack to fully cool. Spread with butter to eat if you wish – or just eat as it is!

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