There’s just something about banana bread, that takes you straight back to your childhood. And my Grandma Dale made some of the best I’ve ever had! After a morning of watching Bob Barker on the Price is Right, The Edge of Night (and umpteen more soaps), The Munsters and the Dialing for Dollars afternoon movie, she would head out to the kitchen and we knew we were in for a special treat! As soon as the smell of sweet bananas and pecans baking in the oven wafted through the house, we could hardly wait for it to be done. She was picky about letting her bananas get “just so” before using, too. We’d say, “Grandma, are the bananas ready yet?” And she’d say, “Nope, they aren’t black enough yet!” You really do have to let the skins turn almost completely black before using to lose that “chalky” taste and become very, very sweet. (*I used bananas that were more ripe than in the photo, but I just didn’t think they would look very pretty in the pictures.) But she would’ve said to let them get a little blacker! And I would definitely agree!
Now, though I love regular banana bread, I make about 5 different kinds that are equally, if not better than, the original. This one is a “clean out the cupboard” recipe that truly has you using up those dabs that you otherwise end up tossing because they’ve gone bad or have staled. This is a nice recipe to make in the springtime to use up all those extras from the winter holidays. As you can see, that’s the last of my pecans and my last can of pumpkin! Thank goodness! I think the main trick to good banana bread is not only to use very ripe bananas, but to make sure you bake it long enough without over-baking. Only grease the bottoms of the pans, and let them cool for a bit running a knife around the sides to loosen, and let them fully cool on cooling racks before wrapping tightly.
Do make sure you wrap them tightly with plastic wrap after cooled, and store in the refrigerator or on the counter. I prefer to always store one loaf in the fridge and one in the freezer. And sometimes I give the second loaf away. If storing in the freezer, you’ll want to double-wrap them with plastic wrap first and then heavy-duty foil. Or you can wrap in plastic wrap and pop into a ziploc freezer bag, close bag almost all the way, and use a straw to remove excess air. I honestly don’t know how long they keep in the freezer, because they never last that long in our house!
Hope you and your family enjoy this as much as we do! And be sure to serve with real sweet cream butter! (Although it doesn’t even hardly need it it’s so moist and delicious!) Makes wonderful gifts, too!
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