Growing up, we didn't have a whole lot of extra food lying around the house. This was not an indicator of deprivation in any form. Far from it.
But, with two little girls, money and time were tight. So, if the request for a certain item was not legibly written on my mother's grocery list before 9 AM Saturday morning, you were out of luck.
Every once and awhile, three bananas would magically appear on the kitchen counter. My father, sister and I would exchange silent glances to inquire whether the others had made the request for the fruit.
No, no and no. When the answer was negative all the way around, we knew what to do. Walk away and don't touch the bananas. Forget you saw them.
They, since not requested, were not for free consumption. The bright yellow fruit was to stay undisturbed, uneaten until brown flecks began to appear.
A day later, as the sugars continued to be released from within and the flecks had unified to form long bruises on the skin, they were ready.
Ready to be mashed into a beautiful loaf of banana bread.
I still love the smell of banana bread baking, the aroma released during its baking is both deliciously unmistakable and wholly comforting.
To consume a fresh, warm slice from the oven is heavenly. Just add a good cup of coffee for the perfect breakfast.
1/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed bananas
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon table salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare loaf pan with nonstick spray.
Place shortening and sugar in bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Cream on medium speed until well combined.
While shortening and sugar are creaming, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
Add eggs to shortening-sugar mixture and paddle until smooth. Add bananas and paddle to combine.
Add flour mixture to wet ingredients. Paddle on low speed until just combined.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake until dark, golden color is achieved and a toothpick inserted into center emerges clean, about 45 minutes.
Allow to cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove from pan and allow to cool on cooling rack.[/print_this]