Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Grandma Betty's Banana Bread

Forever, when I was a kid growing up, one of my favorite things about visiting Grandma Betty during the summer was helping her bake and getting to enjoy her baked goodies. One of my all time favorites was her banana bread. Well...sort of. See, she was always a fan of putting nuts in it, and I prefer mine without, so I was always plucking the walnuts out.

At our house, my mother would always turn the last two overripe bananas into banana bread. Now I don't know if it's just my family, or if it's common, but it never seems to matter how many bananas are in the group. We -always- had 2 or 3 get overripe and no one would eat them. The same is true at my house, now that I'm all grown up with children of my own.

Well, when I was about 19, I had the forethought to call up my mother and ask her for the recipes to all of my favorite foods. And being the wonderful person that she is, she indulged me.

The problem was that we put our stuff in storage at my parent's-- and couldn't get to our stuff for the last 11 years. So periodically, when I wanted to cook a favorite from growing up, my parents would get a call.

"Mom, how do you make your deviled eggs?"

"Mom, what were the ingredients for your bagoki?"

And pertaining to this, "Mom, how do you make your banana bread?"

Well, in the last 5 or so years, my mother has changed her banana bread recipe. Made it healthier. Added applesauce. Fortunately, two days ago, I finally had a chance to go through some of our boxes that had been in storage for so long, and came across my hand written recipe book. In which was contained the recipe I'd been trying to duplicate for the last decade (Woohoo!)

So this morning, I tried it out. My oldest son was in the kitchen helping me make it. It's been baking for the last hour and forty-five minutes and tempting us for the majority of that time. Right now, we're waiting for it to cool so we can taste it.

Here's the recipe:

1 cup butter (I used margarine)
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs

4 cup sifted all-purpose flour (Okay, I didn't -really- sift it (couldn't find my sifter), but I tapped it out very slowly from the measuring cup)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

1/2 cup buttermilk (Okay, I'm not actually a fan of butter milk, so we went regular milk)
2 mashed bananas
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon (the recipe says 'or nutmeg', but we always used cinnamon at my house)

You probably noticed the ingredients are broken up into three different sections, that's because you're going to need three different bowls, one for each group. It's just easier that way.

Pre-heat the oven for 375.

Grease and flour the loaf pans (and you're going to need 2).

Cream the butter (margarine) and sugar, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating until fluffy.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt.

Mix the buttermilk (milk) and bananas well, mixing in the cinnamon.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until all ingredients are well blended. Pour the batter into the two loaf pans.

Bake until done. (Now, I know this last part seems kind of obscure-- that's because sometimes, this recipe would be done in 45 minutes, and others, like today, it took almost 2 hours.) The way that you can tell it's done, and you want to start checking around the 45 minute mark, is by taking a tooth pick and inserting it into the center of the bread. If it comes out dry, the bread is done. If it's still gooey/sticky, add 15 minutes to the cook time and check it again.

Perfect! Just like I remember (:

And as I give my oldest son his slice, he takes a bite and says, "How come there aren't any nuts in it?.... Don't they usually have nuts in them?"

To which I answer, "Usually, but I don't like nuts in it."

To which he replied, "I do! I love the nuts!"

Grandma Betty and my oldest would get along just fine (:


  1. I love nuts in it too! :)

    Looks sooo yummy! I don't buy bananas (trying to eat local) but I am definitely making zucchini bread VERY soon!

  2. ohhhh! Look who I found!! I have a blog as well, but it is a photo blog. I wish I had smell o' vision or taste o' vision . . . but alas, I do not, so my tuna sandwich will have to suffice!


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