Pamela's Banana Bread Recipe
The Recipe Hunters
Everytime I bite into a piece of my Grandmother Edith's banana bread, it brings back a flood of the most wonderful memories.
My grandmother was the ringmaster of the world of imagination, which we entered with relief and giddy glee within a few minutes of our arrival. We would run to reconstruct the fairy houses, that had been destroyed by the forces of Mother Nature in our absence. We would explore in the backyard and dig to China with the energy of zealots. We would guard our frogs and toads, as if we were Lords of a kingdom. I would love visiting her house in Lynnfield where we would climb the big apple tree in her backyard and explore her drawers which contained a curious collection of odds and ends; such as string, buttons, tin foil balls and the like. She always saved rags and thought twice before she threw anything away. My grandmother lived through the Great Depression and the World Wars, so thrift was a way of life. Nothing went to waste, not even those brown bananas!
When the bananas on her counter became dark and spotted, grandma would put them in the fridge. The blackened and mushy bananas would all but slither out of their skins. The day before our arrival she would make her banana bread reminding us, "it's always better the next day." I looked forward for the times when we would make the bread together. I stirred the banana bread batter and would try to pick out the long banana strings from the inner peel but grandma assured me that it tasted better with the strings. Those were the days when you could lick the spoon and sit on the floor with the almost empty bowl and swipe your finger to collect the leftover batter before it was collected to soak in the sink.
So, when I make banana bread, I am really just a kid in my grandma's kitchen discovering the magic of the world again and marveling at the love, kindness and imagination in her legacy.
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter ( two sticks)
6-8 ugly, ripe bananas
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup yogurt (or sour milk or buttermilk)
4.5 cups of sifted flour (sifting optional)
1 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup walnuts
"Since we have a large family and usually entertain, this recipe is doubled. However, most people are sane and do not have to feed 5 hungry gorillas."
My 5 Hungry Children
For this recipe, you will need:
a food mixer, electric hand beater, or (if you want a good bicep work out) a hand beater.
two big baking bowls (I like pyrex)
large ~ 3 inch baking pan
(see written recipe below for printout)
Love tip: The bread is done when you can take a long toothpick and stick it into the center without any batter sticking to the toothpick!
Warning: this bread doesn't last long enough to get frosted, at least at my house. Enjoy with "a nice hot cuppa tea" as my Grandmother Edith would say!
Love tip: You can use two, 9 inch round cake pans and place cream cheese frosting in between the two layers of bread!
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
2. Add the sugar and butter into mixer or large bowl. Mix on high until the sugar and butter are creamed.
3. After these two ingredients are light and fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time.
4. Peel 6-8 ugly, ripe bananas and add them to the sugar, butter, egg mixture.
5. Mix in 2 tsp of Vanilla Extract and 1/2 cup yoghurt.
7. In a separate bowl, sift in baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour.
8. Slowly add the flour mixture (from step 7) into the large mixing bowl. Go too fast and you'll be covered in flour (been there, done that!).
9. Beat the batter until smooth and creamy.
12. Chop walnuts to either incorporate into the batter or to put on top of the bread. One of my chidlren hates nuts, so I always leave a bald spot on the bread for her. What can I say, "Mother love..."
10. Line the pan with butter, then take a tablespoon of flour to lightly cover the inner surface.
11. Pour batter into pan.
13. Bake in the oven at 350°F for about 30 minutes or until fully cooked & enjoy Pamela's Banana Bread, Made with Love.