October went by in a blink. November is now a time to turn on the furnace, light some candles, and bake some warm bread in the oven. I love it when the house smells of cinnamon, spice, and everything nice. I did a variation on banana bread this year by adding pumpkin and extra spices to the recipe. I don’t know if I will return to my traditional banana bread recipe anytime soon. The nutmeg warmed not only the aroma of the bread, but I could feel it warming up my throat like a hug from the inside.
I am reminded of my favorite banana bread story. When I was a teenager, I had a job at Lamb’s Market working for then-owner Bill Jordan. Bill was a colorful guy, to say the least. He liked to time his stroll through the store when the ladies picked up their mail. The problem was he would wear only his boxer shorts and slippers! Being a big, burly guy, he caused a blush or two. The offended ladies would tell me I was a saint putting up with his antics. I just rolled with it until one day…
Bill told me to put a case of ripe bananas in the dumpster. I asked if I could just give the bananas to the neighbors as everyone liked to make banana bread in the fall. Bill said no. I was incredulous. Why would he make me throw away something people could use? He said the bananas belonged to him, and he wasn’t in the business of giving away free food. I was bound and determined to find a way to make this right. I bought every single rotten banana and brought them home. My parents couldn’t believe I bought an entire case of the stinking fruit, so we set down to make loaves and loaves of banana bread. Ultimately, I thought I taught Bill a lesson about charity, but I think he won the game of wits as he found someone to pay full price for his trash! You have to give credit where credit is due! Kudos, Bill.
Hugs and Peace, Sandy
“Baking in the fall is like creating poetry with ingredients.” – Unknown
Na-Na November Pumpkin Banana Bread
We made three variations of this bread:
• A. As recipe specified with equal amounts of pumpkin and bananas. With added pecans.
• B. 1 1/2 cups pumpkin to 1/2 cup mashed bananas (my favorite).
• C. 1/2 cup pumpkin to 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (a real banana bread taste).
3 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. lightly packed light brown sugar
2/3 c. vegetable oil
1 c. canned pumpkin puree
1 c. mashed ripe banana
1 c. chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease two loaf pans, (8×4 or 9×5).
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and spices together. In another bowl, beat sugars, oil, and eggs until combined. Add pumpkin and banana; mix well. Stir in flour mixture. Fold in pecans.
Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. If the tops are browning more than you’d like, tent with foil towards the end of baking.
Cool in pans for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge and pop out of pans. Cool on a wire cooling rack.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Wrap bread in foil to store.
** For neighbor gifts, I used foil disposable bread pans with covers. Each batch made three loaves.