Wednesday, March 10, 2010

8. Banana Bread (V)

Who knew you could learn a food tip on the Wheel of Fortune program? One night, Vanna White demonstrated an easier way to peel a banana. She turned it upside-down and peeled it from the bottom. The skin near the end is pinched between the thumb and forefinger and pulled out and down. It really is easier. Vanna said all primates except for humans had figured this out a long time ago!

Maybe it is the shape of the fruit or how funny we look as we eat one, but bananas are surrounded by jokes and cartoons. Mother Banana: Why didn’t you go to school today? Little Banana: Because I didn’t peel well. And, who hasn't seen a cartoon of the poor sap who slips on a banana peel, with feet  out of control and the inevitable splat onto the ground?

On the serious side, bananas are a wonderful food with many nutritional properties. They can be picked green and will ripen perfectly. They don't have to be squeezed, rapped, shaken, smelled or tasted to see if they are ripe or sweet enough; the color of the skin tells the story and they always taste just the way they are supposed to.

Most of us know our banana-ripeness tolerance level. My husband can eat very ripe bananas and I cannot. We also have our preferences for how they should be prepared. My husband loves banana cream pie and I don't like it at all.

My daughter recently asked me if I remembered a banana dessert I made when she was little. I had to tell her that I did not remember it - in fact, the memory of it was buried so deeply,  I had to fix it again and taste it for myself before the memories came flooding back! It was like visiting an old, sweet friend.

Bonus recipe: it doesn't even have a name -  Slice 1/2 banana in a small dish and mix in enough whipped topping so all the pieces are coated. Sprinkle chopped nuts on top and add a maraschino cherry with a little of the juice. I think I also used to drop a few chocolate chips on top if I had a partial bag of them on hand. Children love this colorful, quick and inexpensive dessert and could even help make it.

Banana Bread is  today's recipe...and one I have enjoyed for forty years. Even if you have your own favorite recipe, I would encourage you to try this is perfection.

Banana Bread

1 1/3 C flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1/3 C margarine
2 eggs
2/3 C sugar
1 C mashed, very ripe bananas (2)
1/2 C chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan and set aside. Combine first 4 ingredients together in a small bowl. In a large bowl, cream margarine; add sugar gradually and beat well with a fork until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. In a third bowl, mash and stir bananas until of uniform consistency. Add some of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture alternately with part of the mashed bananas. Beat after each addition until smooth. (Optional, fold in nuts). Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatuala to mix ingredients well. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle top evenly with sugar. Bake 40 minutes or until top springs back when tested or when a toothpick test comes out clean. Remove bread to a wire rack to cool. This recipe may be doubled to make two loaves.

*Note: If you would like to make smaller loaves, divide batter into 3 small, greased bread pans.
Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick; do not over-bake.


  1. Thanks for posting this, Diane. We LOVE banana bread! I've always made it from the mix, that I can't find here in Missouri, so we're very excited to try this recipe!

  2. Banana bread is a comfort food for me. I will have to try this recipe out. Thanks.