Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Banana Nut Bread - Nuts optional!

It's getting hot with summer almost here. I live in a house without air conditioning. I could not stand a house with it because cold air makes my joints hurt. That being said, when I buy bananas they don't last long in this house when it is warm. We end up making banana bread.

Now this recipe...God only knows where I got it.  In the late 70's, early 80's, as I have mentioned before, I took all these notes of recipes from my mother, my grandmothers, my aunts, my in-laws, my outlaws and transferred them to 3 X 5 cards. This one card has been used A BUNCH!!  I need to make a new one.

As a matter of fact, I have recipes on cards that I call the, "I don't know what they are" dishes.  Just ingredients and how to cook them or put them together. Maybe I ought to try a mystery recipe column and put these together.  One is a salad (or maybe a dessert?) that uses mandarin oranges and looks promising. One that might be a sauce? Another that might be cookies? I might Google the ingredients and see if any recipe looks similar or the same.

This Banana bread recipe is pretty good. My family likes it and you can make it without nuts. For new bakers...whenever you see dry ingredients such as baking powder, salt and flour I always sift those ingredients together.

I love my old sifter. It's really not that old...well.... maybe 30 years old, and I bought it from the Floyd Virginia Country Store. I saw an article today that they are still in business and expanding!  I hate those hand squeezer sifters!! First of all, they are not large enough and my hands won't work like that anymore.

Ah....Floyd County, Virginia....where all the old hippies went in the 1980s!  If anyone is ever in that area I recommend the old Floyd Country store and FloydFest.

Back to the recipe. Whenever I see butter and sugar, I melt the butter, beat in the sugar, then the eggs, the milk or juice, then the bananas before adding the dry sifted ingredients and the rest.

The recipes calls for one pan and baking an hour. Whoever had this recipe must have had a really large bread pan. The most I fill a bread pan is 3/4's the way full with this batter. The recipe is way too much for my largest bread pan.

So it depends on the size of the bread pans as to how long I bake them, or how much I fill them and how far I need to spread this around. With this bread recipe I can get by with filling the bread pans only half full and it tastes just fine. Kind of like the five fish and two loaves Jesus story.

My mother and my great grandmother when they were surprised with extra company at dinner time and not sure it would be enough, they would always say a prayer over the food on the stove. "Jesus, I read where you fed 5,000 with five fish and two loaves....you know the need." There would always be plenty.

The day I baked these, I needed one loaf for my beloved son-in-law, (who is a banana bread fanatic), one loaf for after dinner and one for my morning coffee. So I filled the pans half full and I made 3 different sizes. Baked at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. I know when they begin to split and a toothpick comes out clean they are done.  Yes, I watch the stove.

Banana Bread
1 stick of butter
3 large ripe bananas or 4 small peeled and mashed
1 cup sugar
3 eggs beaten until fluffy
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk or orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts Optional (I use walnuts, pecans make it richer)

It says mix together and bake in greased loaf pan. 350 degrees for 1 hour. Read above for my method.

Questions or comments please feel free to contact me.