I have never met Sadie but she gave me something special once a long time ago…
…Her banana nut bread recipe via my 1982 edition of “Just For You…A Cookbook” published by the First Baptist Church of Weston, Massachusetts.
I can’t even remember how I acquired this cookbook. Perhaps we randomly stopped in at the church fund-raiser/rummage sale as we were passing through? More likely I picked it up at a yard sale in New Hampshire where one of the former church members must have relocated. No matter how I got it – I love it. From Janet Yurkus’ spinach dip to Sylvia Akers’ sweet-n-sour pork to Mary D’s lemon squares.
And of course the banana nut bread. Sadie’s recipe.
There isn’t any crazy ingredients or techniques – just a simple, reliable recipe. Sometimes I add the nuts and sometimes I don’t. When I want it to stand in as the dessert I add a dash of vanilla and a generous shake of cinnamon. Other times I cut back on the sugar just a tad and let the natural sweetness of the fruit do the talking. That is the thing about recipes – they are personal.
As for Sadie, a quick check on the internet, indicated she might still be alive at the ripe old age of 99 years old, right there in her same hometown. Probably still cooking banana nut bread for the church fund-raisers every year.
The Recipe(Adapted from Sadie.)
1/2 cup Salted butter, fully softened
1 cup Regular white sugar
2 Eggs beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups AP flour, sifted
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 Large Ripe Bananas, mashed
1 Large Banana, split length-wise
Tablespoon of brown sugar to sprinkle on top
Nuts optional – 1/2 cup chopped walnuts is always nice.
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and mix 30 secs more. Sift together the flour, soda, powder and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and stir well. Add 2 mashed bananas and nuts if using. Turn into a greased loaf pan. Place the split banana on top and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour. (Keep an eye, depending on whether you are using glass or metal pans you may want to pull out at 50 mins.) I like to turn mine out to cool a bit and then you can return to the baking dish for storage or wrap tightly for transport and gift giving. Best served slightly warm, slathered with butter.