Holiday Recipes, #1

I’ve decided that for the next few posts I will share some of my favorite baked holiday treats.  The first is a recipe I can thank my mother for sharing!

bbreadDo you remember as a kid, getting that big hunk of banana bread with butter in your lunch?  For some of us it was the best thing to open the brown paper bag and find that treasure all to yourself; and for others it was worth a decent trade from a classmate who had a store-bought treat in their lunchbox.  Now, who remembers getting that piece of banana bread, oh round about February, and found that as you took a bite the nuts were green!  Maybe that happened only my family because my mom would use the leftover walnuts that had been tinted green for another annual Christmas tradition.

bananasRecipes that are passed down from mother to daughter sometimes don’t come out quite the same way as “mom used to make it”.  I’ve found that’s because there are secrets that are not always passed on to the daughter.  For example, the trick to this coming out like my Mom’s, is to mash the bananas and tuck them into the freezer for at least a few days. When what’s in the container thaws you’ll find is a lovely brown goo, and banana juice, that makes the bread so moist and flavorful. (I have also the mashed bananas in the fridge and left them in the fridge for about a week, which seems to do the trick as well.) Never, never, never use barely ripe bananas, it’s just not right.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, it makes a great hostess gift, a treat for teachers, or just for yourself!

Banana Bread

1 egg

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened (I always prefer butter)

3-4 ripe bananas, mashed (Mom probably used more like 5 bananas, but won’t tell us that)

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups sifted flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl beat sugar, egg, margarine bananas and vanilla until smooth.  Sift flour and soda; blend into banana mixture.  Stir in nuts.  Pour batter into a loaf pan* that has been sprayed with some kind of cooking spray.  Bake for about an hour, but keep your eye on the oven.  Toothpick will come out clean when breads are finished baking.  Cool in pan.  Wrap uneaten portions in airtight container and it will last for a few days…maybe.

*This amount of batter will also fit nicely into three smaller loaf pans or a 12-cup muffin tin.

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