I buy a LOT of vintage cookbooks and we don’t have enough room for me to store them all so I usually cruise through them, take photos of recipes I want to try, and then recirculate them (i.e. they head back to the thrift store). It’s funny, but reading 2-3 cookbooks a week makes you remember how to cook certain things whether you want to remember or not because the same recipes show up over and over again. Creamed chicken, lemon bars, vegetable dip, and banana bread seem to be the four things that every church cookbook needs.
You would think there might be a little creativity in a baked good like banana bread, but somehow everyone everywhere has pretty much been making the same banana bread since the mid-1950s. There are the occasional add-ins (a half cup of nuts, a handful of chocolate chips) or a little extra flavor (a dash of cinnamon, a little vanilla) but most banana bread is just:
/// 3 ripe mashed bananas
/// 1 cup sugar
/// 1/2 cup shortening or butter
/// 1 and 1/2 cups flour (add a little extra flour if you live in a high altitude like we do)
/// 1 egg (and an extra egg if you like your bread a little more dense)
/// 1 tsp baking soda
/// pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cream the shortening/butter together with the sugar. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda and mix it up. Add the egg and mix. Add the mashed bananas and mix. Bake for an hour.
You can see why I accidentally memorized this recipe. Give or take an egg, it’s the same one I see over and over again. Plus, we’re always either out of bananas or overloaded with brown mushiness so banana bread is a pretty regular thing around here. Just like grandma’s house…