Friday, August 26, 2011

The Best Banana Bread in the World (No Kidding)

My dad will be the first to tell you that his mother wasn't exactly a barrel of laughs. I never knew my paternal grandmother, but apparently she was one of those "we're poor, always have been and always will be" kind of people. Depressing and pessimistic, in other words. Let's just say that she didn't leave many happy memories behind when she passed away about thirty years ago.

However, she did leave behind a yellowed, brittle, spotted and splotched card with a handwritten recipe for The Best Banana Bread in the World. I have literally grown up on this stuff, and verily, verily say unto you--it is wonderful. Comfort food in the extreme, it's good hot, it's good cold, and it's especially good two days old! Age only increases its moistness, and the top gets all glossy and mmmm.... Impossible to describe.

So, do you want to make it now? I'll spare you the trouble of deciphering my grandmother's outdated methods, and transcribe it myself. Here it is, what you've been waiting for all your life:

  • 3 bananas (The riper the better; I usually peel and freeze our bananas when they start to brown, then once a few have accumulated at the back of the freezer I haul them out and squish them into oblivion.)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of flour (I love this with whole wheat. White is OK, but is more cake-ey and less bread-ey.)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Thoroughly mash bananas. (If they've been frozen, just zap them in the microwave; they will look absolutely disgusting but it’s worth it.) 
  3. Combine dry ingredients in one bowl, mix well with a wire whisk (or sifter, if your heart so desires). 
  4. Whisk the eggs lightly in a separate bowl, add oil and vanilla, then when the oven is finished preheating add the wet to the dry. 
  5. Pour into a loaf pan that has been generously greased with vegetable shortening. 
  6. Bake for 60 minutes (it can take 15-20 minutes longer than this) or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. You don’t want your bread to be too dry (it’s supposed to be lovely and moist), so try to get it out just when the tester comes out clean, don’t leave it in the oven too long after that.

It’s kind of hard to go wrong with this one. And believe me, no matter how many utensils you dirty or how much flour you spill all over everything, this stuff is gonna be worth it!

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