By Savannah Burt, Fill Your Plate Contributing Writer
Growing up, I spent more time in the barn than I did in my actual house. Every late night washing cattle and cleaning stalls led up to long-awaited show mornings, traveling across the state before sunrise, with my parents in the front seat and my steers in our creaky red trailer. For most people a show morning meant concession stand breakfast burritos or McDonald’s, but for my family, it meant bringing along our favorite “good luck” tradition: thick loaves of Mom’s perfectly buttered, moist banana bread. No matter what happened to go wrong that morning, whether it be flat trailer tires, ornery calves, or fierce weather, Mom’s banana bread would keep our bellies full and a smile on our face. Here is the guide to starting a morning off right.
“Banana Nut Bread
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
⅔ Cup sugar
⅓ Cup shortening
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup mashed ripe banana
¼ cup chopped nuts
Stir together flour, baking powder, soda, and ¾ teaspoon salt. Set aside.
In a mixer bowl cream sugar and shortening with electric mixer till light, scraping sides of bowl often. Add eggs, one at a time, and the milk, beating till smooth after each addition. Add flour mixture and banana alternately to creamed mixture, beating till smooth after each addition. Fold in nuts.
Turn batter into a lightly greased 8x4x2- inch loaf pan. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 60 to 65 minutes or till a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool. For easier slicing, wrap and store overnight. Makes 1.”
Recipe originally retrieved from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book published in 1981
Over the years, my love for this dish and our family tradition became more than just a good luck wish or a comfort food breakfast. My last show day was ages ago, but we still take every excuse to bake up a fresh batch of banana bread. Every time I smell that bread baking, I remember my mother’s gentle way of making sure I never forgot to take care of myself during a busy show day. I remember the nights she stayed up well past a reasonable hour so she could iron my show clothes and make sure I would have breakfast in the morning before rushing out the door. I remember every mile traveled with my parents, every hug and smile as I exited the show ring, whether victorious or not. Food has the ability to show love and create memories. From my family to yours, I hope this recipe will have the same impact.
More about Savannah
I am an Arizona native born and raised in the west valley. I first got involved with agriculture at the age of 11 when my family moved to Waddell, and since then I’ve raised and shown hogs, beef cattle, and a lamb. I’m currently serving as the Arizona State FFA president and attending Estrella Mountain Community College