if there is one baked good that epitomized my childhood, it would be banana bread. none of us liked bananas with even the smallest brown dots so my mother made it on the regular, protecting us from the grisly fate of biting into bruised, mushy bananas with long strings of whatever those gross strips are that seem to appear on older bananas. we liked our bananas firm and safely tinged in green. luckily, older bananas make the best bread. we think her original recipe came from sunset magazine, but all the copies i have are in her handwriting, so that has not been confirmed.
banana bread has been present at all of the major brunches of my life, the first birthday parties of my children (in muffin form) and used as a peace offering, a hostess gift, a thank you and a “hope you feel better” loaf. (i also bring it to events where i am not sure i will like the food, just to make sure there is something i want to eat.) there is something disarming and soothing about homemade bread that ameliorates just about any concern and makes you feel loved.
theo’s first banana muffin…
lulu’s first banana muffin… she mostly ate the cream cheese frosting
3 medium sized bananas, mashed up with a fork
3/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C butter, melted
generous dollop of vanilla
1 1/2 C flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
* mini chocolate chips - these obviously make the bread much better, but it is good on it’s own as well
preheat oven to 325 degrees. mash bananas in a large bowl. add brown sugar and melted butter (i nuke the butter in the microwave and then use a paper towel to wipe down the glass bowl and then use that buttered paper towel to grease the bread pan.) stir in the egg. add the flour and then the soda and salt. i typically throw in a bunch of mini chocolate chips (my mother never did this) just because chocolate makes everything better… please DON’T add walnuts - they will ruin the bread. scoop the batter into the loaf pan and bake for about an hour. make sure you let someone lick the bowl before you wash it! if you are making muffins, they only need to bake for about 25 minutes.