Tough bananas

There is a certain professor at the law school who has a name for what a court will give you if you go to it asking for a remedy it doesn’t have the power to grant: a “Writ of TOUGH BANANAS.”  Well, every time he says this I think to myself, “That seems kind of harsh.”  If I were a judge, I would never issue a Writ of Tough Bananas.  I would issue a Recipe (nay, Wrecipe) for Delicious Banana Bread.

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I think every good citizen should have a foolproof recipe for banana bread, so if you don’t have one, get ready to write this down!  This recipe was my Great Grandma Pearl’s, and I have no idea why it’s called “St John’s Banana Bread.”  Maybe Saint John baked when he wasn’t baptizing?

I have this giant pile of bananas because they were left over at a 5K I helped out with last Saturday.  (I was originally going to run the 5K, but……they needed help signing people in and, uhh, I had a big meal the night before.)  I am very opportunistic when it comes to free produce, so I scooped up as many as I could carry.  It never hurts to have overripe bananas in your freezer, my friends.  They are perfect for baking, smoothies, and BANANA SOFT SERVE.

Normally I would try to take this recipe and decrease the sugar, add some whole wheat flour, etc.  But there are a few cards in my recipe file I just don’t mess around with, and this is one of them.  I follow it to the letter, and it never lets me down.  (Except for the fact that my mom clearly wrote “4 mashed bananas” on the recipe card, and that’s crazy talk.  It’s 2—see the recipe below.)

This is so easy there’s really no need for step-by-step photos.  Just do me a favor and DON’T forget to butter the top of the loaf and sprinkle it with sugar right after you take it out of the pan.  This step is mandatory, and if you skip it, both Great Grandma Pearl and I will be very disappointed.

Oh, and one final note—if you have two loaf pans and a plethora of bananas, you might as well just double the recipe.  It’s no extra work, and then you could give a loaf away to someone.  I think banana bread is the perfect baked good for gift-ing—it’s easy to transport, most people like it, and it just says “Hey, I think you’re really neat and you deserve a good breakfast and/or snack.”

St. John’s Banana Bread

  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large, overripe bananas, mashed (You want a little over a cup)

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and continue mixing until well-combined.  Fold in the dry ingredients, and then the mashed bananas.  Pour the batter into a greased and floured loaf pan and bake for one hour* at 350.  Remove from the pan immediately, butter the top of the loaf, and sprinkle with sugar.

*I usually bake this for the full hour, but you might want to check it at around 55 minutes or so.  If you over-bake, you really will have Tough Bananas, and that would be a shame.

Onward and upward!  Until next time, fair friends.

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8 responses to “Tough bananas

  1. This is so fortuitous! As fate would have it, I made a large purchase of BANAUUUUN (French pronunciation) about a week ago (for digestive health reasons) and had some concerns that they would go to waste. NAY, Darcy to the rescue!

    I thank you for your service. To your nation, to your education institution, and to the digestive health of your friends and foes alike.

  2. My mother LOVES banana bread. There is always at least a couple of really nasty looking bananas in our freezer in case she gets the urge to make it.

  3. Hey Darcy,
    We make Grandma’s banana bread at least a couple of times per month, using up our overripe bananas. The kids love it. The only variance we have on this recipe is that we split the difference between you and Kathy, and we always use 3 ripe bananas in it….go figure! We also sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar, instead of just sugar….very tasty!

    One funny side note: Your cousin, Patrick used to love eating this banana bread, as a young boy. Then one day he saw Fiona making it, mashing up the nasty looking bananas to put in it. He said, “You are not going to put that in the bread are you”? She said that, indeed, she was. He never would eat banana bread again, after that! No loss, though….more for me, Molly, Gracie, and Fiona to eat! See ya!

    • You know….now that I think about it I’m sure I’ve used 3 bananas before as well. And I love the Patrick story! Reminds me a bit of something a certain older brother of mine might have done once……

  4. OH my gosh! I’m eating that extra loaf RIGHT NOW as I type! I feel so honored- not many people can say that they were eating one of Darcy Lane’s famous recipes right as they were reading about how she made it! I am truly fortunate. I did share it with some law students today… but I had to hide it away pretty quickly as it was starting to disappear. THANKS AGAIN, Darcy! See you tomorrow night!

  5. Pingback: Freedom and sprinkles | She Sings at the Table

  6. Made this for the first time today, it’s in the oven right now! So excited to try it! I am sure it will be delicious. Thank you for the great recipes and inspiration 🙂

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