Last weekend I baked banana bread. I used the recipe from my decades-old, standard issue, cooking bible. You probably have it. It’s the internationally acclaimed manual on how to cook anything. But in this post, I think it best to withhold the book’s identity. However, maybe the book warrants its reputation because my kids and the neighbor kids declared the banana bread the Very Best Banana Bread they’d ever eaten! “Make it again, Mommy!” they cried. “When pigs fly,” I muttered.
The bread had a decent banana taste because I super-maxed the banana content with my over-abundance of overly-ripe bananas. Otherwise, the bread tasted like white flour. Admittedly, I used only 2/3 of the white sugar called for (I always reduce the sugar proportion in baked goods). But even if I had added the extra 1/3 cup of sugar, it just would have tasted like semi-sweetened white flour, nuanced with banana.
The recipe was minimalistic – flour, soda, shortening, eggs, sugar, banana, and only enough salt so a cardiac arrest patient wouldn’t feel completely deprived. It didn’t even call for vanilla extract. To be fair, the recipe suggested additions of apricots and walnuts, but I knew these would elicit disgusted exclamations of “Eeewwww!” from my children. When I realized it would taste as bland as milk toast, I tried to salvage it by sprinkling cinnamon on the top right before I popped it into the oven. The cinnamon’s effect was purely aesthetic.
But the kids LOVED it! They ate it for snacks and breakfast. They were thrilled to learn that a second loaf waited in the freezer. (Yes, I had bananas enough for two loaves.) As I anticipate having age-spotted bananas in the future, I send out this request to you, dear readers, for a banana-bread recipe that BOTH children and adults enjoy.
Please don’t take my grumbling too seriously however, because the making of the banana bread accomplished a higher purpose.