I have a vivid memory of my four year old son, that makes me smile every time I think of it.
I walked into the kitchen one afternoon to see his pale-blue eyes, half covered in disheveled hair, peeping over the counter top. No, let me correct that. Intensely glaring over the edge of the counter, at the bananas that sit there each week.
I asked, "Carson, are you hungry?"
"Yes," he sheepishly replied.
"Would you like a banana?"
He paused a moment, then in a tormented tone answered, "No...I'm waiting for the bananas to DIE, so I can eat banana bread!"
Banana Bread, the utopian state to which all bananas aspire. Or at least that is the belief in my house. Everyone enjoys a ripe banana, yet they all (husband included) leave them sitting there. Hoping...if there are at least 3 left when they turn dark, this supreme treat will emerge. Ah, the lesson of delayed gratification. I'm enormously intrigued watching my children ponder this virtue of patience. Mediocre satisfaction now...or jovial bliss later...hmmm.
This moist and flavor-packed banana bread makes a great breakfast or brunch item, but is best warm out of the oven, slathered with butter!
Carson's Banana Nut Bread
1 cup sugar
1 stick of softened butter (reduce the fat by using ½ stick butter and ½ cup applesauce)
3 very ripe bananas
1 Tb. milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
¾ cup shredded coconut (variation ¾ cup diced apple)
¾ cup chopped nuts (almonds, pecan, walnuts...)
Preheat the oven to 325* and grease a 9X5 loaf pan. Smash the sugar, butter, eggs, milk and bananas together in a large bowl.
*You could put the ingredients in the mixer, but I like to smash them with a spoon because it leaves little chunks of banana in the bread.
In a separate bowl whisk together all the dried ingredients. Stir the dry mixture into the wet. Add the coconut and chopped nuts. Mix well.
Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Bake 60-80 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool for 10 minute in the pan, then flip it out onto a cooling rack.
*Loaf pans often have the same measurements etched onto the bottom, but are slightly different sizes! If your loaf pan seems small, and the mixture comes close to the top, pour some into a smaller loaf pan for an extra mini loaf. If you’re not sure, place a cookie sheet below to catch any drips.