The Saturday before Mother’s Day I made banana bread out of necessity. I had, yet again, ignored the bananas. It’s something I’ve done frequently in the past month. I can never figure out quite what it is. For months we eat bananas, running out long before our next planned shopping trip and then, we simply don’t. They sit there, first with just a few brown sugar spots, and then the number increases until the yellow is all but gone. Then there is banana bread.
Like many things in life, we go through seasons with eating. I happen to be in a ginger season, and with the excess of bananas at my disposal, it was only a matter of time before the two met and married. The ginger’s brightness compliments the banana bread’s dense and moist texture, giving you something unexpected but not overpowering, perfect for this season of spring that we’re in: cold and rainy, yet with hints of sunshine and warmth.
Ginger root. Peel and mince a good 4″ section of it.
In a mixer, add the minced ginger to sugar and some softened butter. Cream. Kind of. Really, there’s not a ton of butter in this to cream. Don’t worry, though. The egg will help us along.
Add one egg. Cream again.
A baking (or cooking) session wouldn’t be complete unless one of the kids heard me and appeared, eager to measure, mix and mess.
I’m kind of a freak when it comes to baking. Everything gets loaded and washed as I use it. Ingredients are put away immediately, whenever possible. I hate clutter in the kitchen. I think it comes from working in restaurants and as a baker when I was younger. Or maybe it’s because my grandma functioned in a similar way.
Whatever it is, I have to stifle “it” when the kids are in there with me, which is nearly every time I look in the direction of the kitchen. I take a deep breath and accept that the flour will spill over the top of the bowl, there will be egg shells to pick out of the batter before turning it on and sometimes, when I have my back turned, a sweet 3-year-old will eagerly turn the mixer on full speed while the bowl is still in the lower position and the blade is covered in egg slime. And it will all be okay.
In fact, it will be better. So my baby girl? She mixed all the dry ingredients and spooned them in the bowl for me.
And well, kind of down the side of the bowl and on the counter too. We just swept it up and dumped it right back in.
I considered leaving the nut option out of this particular banana bread, but I decided that I like pecans enough to leave them in. I’m glad I did. You? That is up to you and your nut preferences.
Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan (bottom only).
So, I read once that running a knife through your quick bread will help it to get just one even crack. It appears to work. I’ve run several tests. I’m satisfied.
And this is what you get after about an hour in the oven.
I decided I’d take a picture of this on Mother’s Day. I cut off a few slices, snapped my shots and went about the business of gardening and baking. My sisters and mom stopped by, started hacking slices off it and handing them out like candy, and it was all but gone within minutes. I had to steal half a piece out of my baby sister’s hands. Not to worry, though. I have 3 bananas that are ready to meet the same fate.
Note: The best things come from family. This recipe is one I adapted from my sister-in-law’s banana bread recipe, one that I’ve made several times and have to ask her for each and every time I make it.
3/4 cup sugar
3 generous tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
3 large bananas
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
Heat oven to 350° F. Cream together butter, sugar and minced ginger. Beat in the egg. Add bananas and mix well. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix into the wet ingredients. Stir in the pecans. Pour batter into a greased 8″ loaf pan. Bake at 350° F for 60 to 65 minutes until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool 10 minutes on a wire rack before removing from pan.
Makes 1 loaf.