Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Slice of Nostalgia

My mom was an amazing cook and baker.  She knew how to make a meal special and how to find great recipes.  I know that my love of cooking and appreciation for delicious, home-y foods comes from her.  For a long time I have searched for a banana bread recipe that was as good as hers--dense, moist, and irresistible with a slather of peanut butter.  Unfortunately, none of the recipes I tried came close.

Finally, it dawned on me that I knew which cookbook my mom's favorite banana bread recipe came from and I remembered to ask my dad to bring it to me at Christmas time.  Of course, this cookbook, being a church fundraiser cookbook, has SIX banana bread recipes in it.  I figured I'd just start with the first one, and cook my way through them until I found the one. 

Then, as I started to look at the recipes, one of them jogged my memory.  It called for 1 2/3 cups of bananas...and for whatever reason I knew that this was the one my mom used.  Of course I had made it myself when I was in high school, but who would have thought, when all of the recipes were so similar, that was the detail that would stick.  I baked up a loaf and, behold, there was the long searched for loaf of golden goodness.

So, here's the recipe, courtesy of Marie R. Hartman and the St. Vincent DePaul Parish Council of Catholic Women from Seward, Nebraska circa 1988.

Banana Bread

1 3/4 c. Flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. nuts (pecans or walnuts) chopped
1 2/3 c. banana, mashed
2/3 c sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c butter, melted

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nuts.  In a large bowl combine the bananas, sugar, vanilla, eggs and butter.  Fold in the dray ingredients, stirring only to blend.  Pour into a greased and floured 9x3" loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until golden and toothpick comes out clean.

Ah, the perfection!

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