On my kitchen table: banana bread
snow day + over ripe bananas = banana bread time
Let’s see, this week we have had a snow day, an early closure, and now today another snow day. !!!!!!!! We still have yet to have a full week of school since the kids went back to school in January and now spring break is around the corner. I love winter, so I’m not complaining about winter, the season, but I am complaining about the inability to cope with winter where I live now. It is pretty ridiculous. Ice storms are dangerous, yes, and that’s what we’ve been having this week. But snow is not. I guess when you come from Chicago where life doesn’t stop in winter no matter what makes one jaded. Ah well. The snow has been coming down steadily all day and it’s really pretty out. I hope everyone stays safe.
Back to more important things. Banana bread. Yes. I’ve been making this banana bread since my high school years and every time I make it, the recipient asks for the recipe. There’s nothing really special about the recipe and I bet there are way healthier versions out there now. But I love this recipe. It tastes like the banana bread that a friend of the family from our church used to make when I was little and I always looked forward to going to her house- for the banana bread.
The woman who made the bread was the mother of 5 children and her youngest had Downs Syndrome. I think because we also had a special needs child in our family, our two families bonded for that moment in time. The little boy’s name was Edmund, but in my child’s mind I thought his name was “Amen”. I thought it was perfect. I thought in my 4 year old logic that when he was born, he was so special that his parents said “Amen!” My mother had explained to me since I could remember that my own sister was an angel sent to us to take care of us, and that in turn, we were to take especially good care of her. So I must have equated people with special needs with being from God. It wasn’t until I was an adult and I was asking my mom about my memories of that family that I realized that the little boy’s name was Edmund and not Amen.
Whenever I make this banana bread I think of little Amen. I should start calling it my Amen Banana Bread.
3 ripe bananas*
2 cups flour
1 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/4 c chocolate chips
Preheat over 350 degrees.
1. In a large bowl: beat bananas and eggs until light and frothy. *The key to this recipe and to having moist banana bread is the over ripe bananas. Not a banana with a few brown spots on the yellow peel. You want the banana peel to be pretty much brown. Now, don’t wait until it starts to mold, of course. That’s just gross and, well, unhealthy.
2. Place a large sifter over your bowl of bananas and eggs mixture and sift together: flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Mix the banana mixture with the dry ingredients by hand with a wooden spoon.
3. Add: oil and vanilla extract. Mix.
And of course add your chocolate chips. This is optional, but my family would revolt if I left the chips out. I usually just put a small handful, but a 1/4 cup should be fine. Personal preference. I don’t want the chocolate chips to overwhelm the bread. Just dots of delicious chocolate here and there.
4. Pour batter into an oiled loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. We often can’t resist to cut a slice right away, but if you can wait, it often tastes even better the next day. Wrap up in aluminum foil for storage.
It’s some seriously delicious bread. I took a bite today and exclaimed, “Damn, that’s some good banana bread.” Perhaps I should change my exclamation to simply- Amen!