Baking with Grandma

The wonderful smell of banana bread is filling up our house as I am typing these words.   My four year old and I decided to make some banana bread, and I pulled out my grandmother’s old recipe.  It’s not my favorite banana bread, nor is it the recipe I usually use.  I think it’s not as moist as some others, but I hold onto it because it was her’s.  The reason I brought it out today is that Sunday is Grandparent’s Day, and I thought that it was a nice way to start up a conversation with my youngest son about his Great Grandmother, who he never knew. 

As we mashed the banana’s and mixed the butter and sugar, I told him about her, and shared some of my favorite memories of her.  Now, he’s above average in the hyperactivity department, and most of his comments about her reflected his newest obsession with superheroes.  “Did she like Spiderman?’, he asked.  Giggling, I fibbed, “Of course she did.”.  But we still had that special time together and talking about her, as close as we will ever come to baking with her.  After we put the pan in the oven, I pointed her out to him in some pictures of her I have around the house, and pulled out an old photo album.  He was able to connect with a picture I have of an appoximately five year old me sitting in a chair with her, opening a birthday present. 

As I am often fond of saying, I’m not just parenting for today.  By these gentle reminders of their geneology, I’m hoping my children will grow to remember who they are, and from where they came.  I hope one day when I’m no longer around, they will hang onto the reminders of our family I have cherished.  Things like family recipes, our photo albums, the Luffwaffe dagger my grandfather took off a German soldier during WWII and the painting of me done by my mother.  My wish is that these items won’t be found one day in a pawn store or trash pile, that they will be used by my children to tell their stories. 

My Mommy Tips:
If you have favorite recipes you want to pass down to your children, write them down!  Don’t type them, write them, no matter how badly you think of your handwriting.  After 8 years, I still get flood of warm feelings every time I find something with my mother’s handwriting on it.   

My Grandma’s Banana Bread 

1 stick butter (room temp.)
2 eggs
1 cup sugar 
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Butter the bottom and sides of a loaf pan.  Mix all ingredients.  Pour batter into pan and cook approximately 1 hour.  (Forget what you hear about letting it cool, it’s best warm, right out of the oven, with fresh bananas and honey!)