Spring Break - Banana Bread for the road

It's our final official high school Spring Break starting at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow when the first leg of our journey to St. Croix departs IND.  Yippee!!!  Cheers for a trip to the islands, but a little melancholy that this is our last Spring Break.  I suppose we could start tagging along or planning a Spring Break for the college girls (still deciding on where girl #2 will actually go next year) and paying for it (someone might bite at that chance).  They've all been fun.  I don't think we missed many since they've both been in school.  One particularly thrilling one was a move from Michigan to Ohio.  That doesn't sound fun, but that did turn out to be a great stop on our relocating adventures.  One memorable one included a volcano hike on St. Kitts that just about took Greg out.  Super funny story since he lived to tell.  Here is a little vignette from that day:  Royston, our guide, got tired of him lagging and saying he had to pull up his sweat-soaked madras shorts so Royston cut down a vine and made him a belt.  Greg's highlight:  the cooler of Carib beer at the end of the hike.

Since we are leaving home very, very early I am baking banana bread to 1. use up our bananas and 2. pack a breakfast snack for the plane.  Greg will be just fine, thank you, with his black coffee; but Sara and I will be starving as soon as we are awake enough to notice.


I've been baking the same basic banana bread for at least 15 years.  I believe it's from the Junior League of Indianapolis's first cookbook (one cookbook I don't actually own, but I have a lot of recipe cards of the same vintage).  I've updated it to use a little less sugar, plain yogurt instead of sour cream (actually I like it with either one or both depending on what I have in the refrigerator) a pinch of salt to bring out the banana flavor and whole wheat flour and some oats to increase the fiber content a bit.  This makes it more like a bread, good for toasting and eating out of hand.  If you like it old school, more dense and moist, skip the oats and the milk.

This is my third trip to a Caribbean island and the first two trips the food was definitely not the highlight.  It's someone's chance to surprise and delight me with a meal I want to re-create at home.  I'll keep you updated on that.  What I do know I will find is guaranteed warmth and sunshine and that's really the whole point.  We all have plenty of reading material, sunscreen and swim suits.  We have a morning kayak trip booked and will book a catamaran/snorkeling adventure when we get there.  Heaven.

Have a great week and I'll be back with a tan and new posts in a week or so!

Banana Bread

1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
1 C plus 2 T sugar
2 eggs
1/4 C plain lowfat or nonfat yogurt OR regular or lowfat sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C white whole wheat or regular whole wheat flour
1 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/3 C regular oats (not quick cook), I like TJ's oven toasted oats
2 T milk
2 medium or large ripe bananas, peeled and sliced (I just smoosh them out of the peel and into the mixer)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a stand mixer (if you have one) cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Reduce speed to medium low and beat in eggs, one at a time followed by vanilla until well-blended.  Add the flours, soda and salt on low speed until combined.  Stir in oats, milk and bananas until everything is incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Smooth top.  Sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired.  Bake for one hour or until tester comes out of center clean (mine almost always takes an extra 10 minutes).  Cool on rack for about 5 minutes and invert to cool completely.

ingredients (note:  these bananas are barely ripe enough,
but we're headed for the beach tomorrow so they will do)

creamed butter and sugar with eggs added 

the finished batter

in pan, sprinkled with coarse sugar

cooling in pan


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