BANANA BREAD … a World War Two recipe from the past

Growing up during World War Two almost everything was either rationed or not available.   There were kids who had never tasted marshmallows or chewed bubble gum.  Of course, one doesn’t miss what one has never had.

Me, dressed in patriotic  red, white, and blue crepe paper for the  Pet Parade

Me, my older sister Mona, and our Uncle Bert.  Sadly he did not come back from the war.

It was patriotic to do you bit for the war effort.  We collected string, tin foil (from cigarette packages) metal and even fat.    Once a week the women in our neighborhood met and knitted socks or rolled bandages as their contribution for the war effort.  Tea and only  one kind of goodie was served.    Food was rationed.   My Mother came home from one of these  work projects with this recipe for Banana Bread.   It was the talk of the afternoon because it didn’t contain nuts, but looked like it did.  Nuts were not easily available during the War.    This is my Mother’s world War Two  Banana Bread.  I’ve added the nuts.    Now you have something to do with those over-ripe bananas,

1/2 cup butter ( or very good quality hard margarine)

2/3 cup scant or white or brown sugar

2 large eggs at room temperature

1/2 tsp each salt and baking soda

1 1/2 cups generous of VERY VERY ripe bananas.  They should be soft and squishy in the skins

1/2 to 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Have all ingredients at room temperature

Cream butter and sugar until soft and creamy.  Add the eggs one at a time.

Combine the dry ingredients and mix alternatively with the mashed bananas.   Start with one-third the flour, when this is mixed add half the bananas, now add another third of flour mix just until the flour is assimilated, add the rest of the bananas.  Mix briefly, then add the final one-third of the flour.  Add the chopped walnuts and mix briefly.

Pour into a loaf pan and let stand twenty minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.   Test by sticking a cake tester or a very thin knife, into the centre of the loaf.  It should come out clean.

Banana loaf, like most loaf cakes or breads freezes well.


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