2.15.2013

Banana Bread



An old friend of mine gave me a writing journal made out of recycled banana tree bark over a decade ago.  The first thing I inked into the natural paper pages was a recipe for banana bread.  Over the years I changed the recipe here and there, mostly the combination of spices and, like most recipes I make, I reduced the amount of sugar.  Depending on what I'd toss into the batter just before baking - crystallized ginger; dark chocolate chunks; toasted walnuts - I would modify the spice combination.  For instance, if I added crystallized ginger, I might just add cinnamon.   Or I would be out of cinnamon so I would just add ground nutmeg and clove, along with a handful of chopped chocolate.  From much trial and error, I have come to decide that the recipe below is just the right combination of flavors no matter what I extras I decide to toss in, and I rarely change a thing anymore. It's a simple, unfussy bread that my family loves.  I hope you like it just as much as we do.


Banana Bread

1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2-3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Extras:  1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/3 cup toasted walnuts, 1/3 cup crystallized ginger.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients starting with the flour and ending with the melted butter.  Mix well.  Toss in any extras and stir until combined.  Pour into a buttered loaf pan and lightly dust with a sprinkling of coarse sugar.  Bake for about 55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool.

8 comments :

  1. Oh, Katie! Such lovely memories. I have such sweet memories of neighbors when I was a child. The whole neighborhood knew each other, kids all played until way past sundown. Very few neighborhoods are like that, anymore. It's sad.

    I miss the infant days, but it is so amazing to see them grow and learn. I think I may be making banana bread today. :)

    Have a beautiful weekend.

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    1. It's true, it's hard to find neighborhoods like some of the ones we grew up in. We are so blessed to have found that for our family here, complete with amazing neighbors - and our next door neighbor very much like a loving mama to all of the kiddos.

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    2. how very lucky you are. :)

      I forgot....I LOVE that I'm not the only one with custom artwork on the tables. ;) We talk of refinishing the tabletop, but I love to look at all the scribbles and remember all art created by little hands.

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  2. I love the first photo with the marker-table. Also, your memories make me very happy to live in the neighborhood we do (even though I'd *still* like some bigger trees ;-))

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    1. Ha! Bigger trees would be so luxurious, and then the squirrels will be here in full force. ;)

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  3. i miss magnolia trees. it reminds me of the south. banana bread is one of my favorite things to make. i like to throw some dates in for good measure. P.S. I love your trivet.

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    1. I miss magnolia trees too. And cypress trees and moss... Dates, yum! I'll be trying that! The trivet was handed down from my grandma; I have a few of them!

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  4. of course you've been doing something really well. but those milestones sure make us mamas feel like we're on a beautiful track. and how nice to have such great neighbors..

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