Sunday, December 13, 2009

Banana Bread

This recipe is from Shirley Murray, who worked at Camp Rice Moody in Reading, Mass., the Girl Scout day camp my grandmother Norma Cox (Coxie) ran for many years. I spent many summers at that camp beginning when I was too young to be a Brownie Scout; one summer while in college I worked as a swimming instructor/lifeguard at Rice Moody.

Shirley Murray had two daughters and what I remember about all three of them is that they always wore their hair in braids: Mrs. Murray wrapped hers around her head and the two girls each had two long braids.

I've made this banana bread for years, as has my mother, and when she was alive, my grandmother. It is quick, easy, and delicious.

Banana Bread
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

3 or 4 very ripe bananas mashed with fork
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted shortening (I use butter)
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
1 egg

Mash bananas, add shortening and sugar, mix with fork.
Sift dry ingredients onto banana mix.
Add vanilla and nuts if using.
Drop in unbeaten egg.

Bake in standard loaf pan for 45-50 minutes.
May also be made in 3-4 miniloaf pans; bake 30-35 minutes.
When done, remove from oven and cool 10 minutes on wire rack.
Run knife around edge of loaf to loosen; invert pan and remove loaf, leave on wire rack until cooled completely.
Wrap; may be frozen.


  1. Ellen Chamberlain GroleauDecember 19, 2009 at 10:08 AM

    Sugar measurement? My mouth is watering....!

  2. Ellen, thanks for pointing out that the sugar quantity was missing. It is one cup (I've corrected the recipe.)