. . . But a Memory, Too
All to often I find myself with over-ripe bananas (and since I like my bananas on the green side of ripe, it doesn’t take much for me to consider them overly ripe). Often, I end up throwing these bananas into the freezer to make banana bread with “later” Sometimes later is a long time coming, and I have enough bananas to make enough banana bread for an army. (And that’s only exaggerating just a wee bit.)
My favorite banana bread recipe comes from Shirley, an amazing lady I worked with when I was a teenager at my aunt and uncles’ motel in Preston, Idaho (of Napoleon Dynamite fame – I dated the chicken farmer’s son, and that’s my claim to fame). I also dated Shirley’s son for several years; he was my first love, but even after we parted ways, Shirley and I remained friends. She has long been one of my champions, always helping me see the good in myself, encouraging me to continue writing, sharing titles of good books, and always sharing her recipes. Through the years she has taught me a lot about cooking.
Whenever I find myself anywhere close to the tiny, Idaho farming community where she lives, I stop in for a warm welcome and a visit, and invariably she offers me something from her kitchen. Oh, how I love this dear lady!
Shirley’s Banana Bread
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 ripe medium bananas
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. nuts, chopped (optional)
Pre-heat oven 350 degrees.
Mash bananas with a potato masher, or hand mixer sprinkle with baking soda. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, mix well. Add flour and salt. Stir in bananas.
Grease & flour two medium size loaf pans. Divide batter into loaf pans. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 – 50 minutes. Bread is done when toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Turn out of pans to cool.