Desire to learn
I didn’t grow up cooking. While I have memories of my mother and her mother canning and cooking together, and my paternal grandmother’s kitchen being a constant source of culinary goodness, I have no memory of helping. Or being taught any of the techniques or recipes I witnessed.
I want to say that things have changed for my kids. That they’ve been my kitchen helpers daily since they could hold a wooden spoon. But that’s not true. At all. Having never learned to cook at the side of a patient teacher, it’s been a struggle for me to find the patience to teach my own kids.
Thankfully, my 6 year old daughter is persistent. Very. She adores helping in the kitchen, and I have to say, it’s sometimes nice to have her help, now that she’s a bit older. Ditto her older brother, who isn’t as keen to jump in, but always helps when I ask. Being home educators helps, as they are here with me, all day, and are available to help out whenever.
After being feverish for a few days, Little Miss showed me that she was feeling better by insisting that we were going to make this loaf together. No ifs, ands or buts. And after a few nights with little sleep, I welcomed the help.
I love that this recipe uses fresh cranberries rather than dried. Their tartness balances the sweetness of the bananas. The nuts give a nice earthy depth. I had locally grown butternuts on hand, which I’ve found to be similar to walnuts, but softer. Walnuts or pecans would be just fine.
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
2-3 mashed over-ripe bananas
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts
Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 9x5x3 loaf tin.
In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, eggs, and banana. Blend the dry ingredients together and stir them in just to moisten. Gently mix in the cranberries.
Bake for an hour until a toothpick comes out clean when poked into the middle. Let it cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan and cooling on a rack.