Sitting inside a wire basket on my kitchen counter are bananas I had brought home from the store last week. Their resemblance has changed though, no longer bright yellow and green, they now look like something you would find rotting inside a wastebasket, and if I hadn’t known better that’s where they would be going, straight to the trash. But thank goodness for my grandma. Because of her, I knew these bananas weren’t rotten, they were ready; ready to be used…ready for a very specific purpose.
So, I pulled out a recipe and began to gather the ingredients I needed, including those yucky looking bananas. My grandma’s banana bread needed bananas just like those. The brown spots and mushiness made them particularly perfect; if they had been any less brown they wouldn’t be sweet enough. It took time and patience for them to be ready, but once the smell of fresh bread was in the air I knew the wait was going to be worth it.
Every time I bake banana bread I’m immediately transported back in time, standing in her little kitchen, staring at her, and at a green oven with little hands wanting to help. Her recipe is part of her legacy and it’s a part of me. It’s more than brown bananas and bread though. Her recipe makes two loaves, and whenever she made bread (which was often) I saw her, I saw how she would give a loaf away; to family, friends, neighbors, and the random person that stopped by her home. In a labor of love, she was always feeding people. And now, whenever I make banana bread on my own, for my family, I’m reminded of her generosity towards others. My grandma didn’t have a lot, but she had lots of love and I watched her give it away with every loaf of bread she baked.
Ruth’s Homemade Banana Bread
6 well ripened mashed bananas (about 3 cups)
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
*Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
*Grease 2 loaf pans with vegetable oil or coat with butter and flour if needed
*In a large bowl, mix eggs, oil, sugar, and mashed bananas together, stir in vanilla
*In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together
*Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until unified
*Pour into loaf pans evenly and bake for 1 hour and 15 to 20 minutes (may take longer if baking 2 loaves at the same time)
Bread is done when inserted knife comes out clean
After bread cools somewhat, loosen the edges with butter knife and flip upside down on cooling rack, when bread is no longer hot to the touch wrap in plastic wrap to keep outer edges from getting hard
Enjoy and share the love ♡