Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Banana Walnut Bread

Over the last few days I have been reading through foodie blogs. What I have noticed about the majority of the ones I have stumbled across is that they don't deal with ordinary home cooking...the kind of cooking that brings family to the table. I'm not saying all of them. Anyone who follows foodie blogs is familiar with The Pioneer Woman. Now, that is home cooking, the type of stuff most of us can afford and make without a great deal of difficulty. And I like Simply Recipes. For the most part Elise has pretty doable and yummy recipes. (I have posted links on the side of this blog.) It's this type of cooking I want my blog to address.

At this moment in history, when money is tight, we need less expensive, healthy meals that feed a family. That's what I'm all about. Just like millions of other people, we're struggling a bit financially...not because of job lay-offs or loss of investments (what are investments?), but due to illness. Since September my hubby has been off work quite a few times due to hospitalizations, without sick-pay benefits (we do have insurance). It's been tight, but we've handled it. And we've done it without suffering foodwise. Gotta keep our spirits up somehow.

Delicious food is not dependent on fancy ingredients. I use EVOO, but I get it at Costco. I use bacon, not pancetta...personally, I like the flavor better. When whole chickens are on sale, I buy several, cut them up myself and save the backs and wings to make my own stock. I use cheese I can get at Walmart. I try to keep the cupboards stocked w
ith the type of ingredients that can be called into service at a moments notice. I've attempted using fresh herbs, but they end up rotted and slimy in my veggie drawer. Don't suggest I grow my own....been there done that and am a dismal failure. So I have an overstocked spice cabinet. Works for me. And we are so fortunate to have a produce market in the community where I can get fresh quality produce at a reasonable price. It is possible to eat well for less....been doing it for years. Not fancy, buy yummy and wholesome.

So, in that vein, we had some bananas that had seen better days. No throwing those puppies out around here. They screamed banana bread!!! In keeping with my Farm Journal project I pulled out my Country Fair Cookbook from Farm Journal and m
ashed away.


1 3/4 cup sifted flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 TBSP. flour

Sift together flour (yes, it will be double sifted...just do it), baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cream together shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add dry ingredients with bananas, beating after each addition. Combine walnuts and 1 TBSP. flour; stir into butter. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until bread tests done. Cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool on rack. Makes one loaf.
Notes:This is not your typical sweet cakelike banana bread. If you like sweeter, by all means add a little more sugar. The notes in the recipe suggest the bread sit for 24 hours before being sliced. I concur. This has a texture a bit more like a yeast bread than a quick bread, and doubles easily (as I did). Just smear some butter on a slice and smile a bit. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

i completely agree with you about the fancy cooking. that's what i love about food though - we all find methods that work for us. people have been cooking for generations with non-fancy ingredients, and when used right, jarred herbs can be a great place to get creative. love the banana bread - i also prefer not too sweet.

Karen said...

Hmm, jarred herbs, I will definitely check that one out!

Karen said...

OK, as I get closer to 60 I have these little brain farts...jarred herbs...bottled dried herbs...I get it...after my hubby so graciously pointed it out to me. Already using them...duh.

Anonymous said...

haha, aww karen, you're too cute. but i can see why "jarred" herb may have confused you a bit. "bottled" or "dried" may have been a better choice of words.;)

The Leftoverist said...

I agree--so many blogs are just plain intimidating! Thanks for your down-to-earth approach. We need more of that. And don't hate me because I grow my own herbs :) It's after 10 years of failure! Maybe I just had the timing wrong.