Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Love & Banana Bread {Carnival of Natural Parenting}

Welcome to the April 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Recipes
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants are sharing their recipes, their stories, their pictures, and their memories.

The one baked constant throughout my life has been my grandma's banana bread. She'd come to visit and bring frozen foil-covered loaves with her, or we'd go visit and she'd have fresh-baked slices waiting for us on the counter. It is love in bread form, and we've had many a conversation over the steaming banana goodness. 

A few months after I had my girls, I opened up a care package to find a dozen or so wrapped mini loaves made with love by Grandma, and it was the best gift she could have sent. During and after nursing marathons or midnight feeds, I'd cut a few slices, load them with butter, and pour myself a glass of milk, thinking about special childhood memories and the memories I hope to make with my own family. 

Everyone in our large family knows about grandma's banana bread, and we request it by name. The recipe is simple but special, and it will be the first thing my daughters and I bake together. 

Grandma's Banana Bread

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
3 extra ripe bananas
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a large loaf pan or 2 small loaf pans. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, and add the eggs in one at a time. Add bananas, mixing well. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and then add to the banana mixture. Stir until just combined. 

Bake in the large loaf pan for an hour, or in the small loaf pans for 40 minutes, checking with a toothpick until it comes out clean. Cool completely before slicing. 
Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon April 9 with all the carnival links.)
  • German Red Cabbage: A Family Tradition — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy shares her favorite dish and a part of her family's history.
  • Rotisserie Chicken Recipes for Meal Planning — Becky at Crafty Garden Mama shares a new recipe that is in her family's meal-planning rotation. Check out how she uses a rotisserie chicken to get through the week.
  • Grandma Wicken's Sugar Cookies — Jana Falls at Jananas talks about how special her Grandma's sugar cookies made her feel.
  • Recipe: Seed and Bean Burgers — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings shares one of her favourite frugal recipes that is also super-healthy and totally delicious.
  • Pulled Pork Sandwich — Lisa at The Squishable Baby PULLS dinner together for the kids.
  • The Best Banana Muffin Recipe (Gluten Free & Vegan) — Dionna of Code Name: Mama's adventures in gluten free baking have not been 100% successful. But today she is guest posting at Fine and Fair to share a banana muffin recipe that will knock your socks off!
  • The Pierogie Mama Whips Up Strawberry Pierogies! — Bianca at The Pierogie Mama shares her family's recipe for strawberry pierogies…a sweet, summery version of the Polish dumplings that she affectionately named her daughter after.
  • Mom's Cookbook — Tree at Mom Grooves digs into the big book her mom created for her six daughters and shares a favorite family recipe.
  • Crispy Duck Confit — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama takes the liberty of starting a family recipe tradition with this super simple, totally delicious crispy duck confit.
  • Stovetop BBQ Chicken — Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work shares a yummy BBQ chicken recipe that you can make on the stovetop in less than 25 minutes, fridge to table!
  • Twice-Baked Sweet Potato Casserole w/Bacon — Martine at Whey Beyond the Naked Truth shares a naked food twist on an old family favorite!
  • Strawberry Panna Cotta — KerryAnn at CookingTF.com shows you her favorite dessert, a quick and easy Strawberry Panna Cotta that she enjoys so much, she had it instead of a birthday cake this year.
  • Special crepes for a special day — Mikko at Hobo Mama is learning to cook his grandma's signature holiday meal alongside his dad.
  • Three Favorite Family Recipes: To Eat, To Wash, To Play — Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings is back with three family favorites: gluten-free shortbread, DIY powdered laundry detergent, and something fun for the kids: homemade "Flubber"!
  • Black Bean Soup Forever — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot shares a soup recipe that's been around forever.
  • Do you want to know a secret? — SRB at Little Chicken Nuggets lets go of her mac and cheese recipe, a comfort food favourite for friends and family for years.
  • Creating Our Own Family Recipes — Emily at S.A.H.M. i AM shares how she's trying to create meals that her girls will want to pass down to their own children some day.
  • Vranameer Chicken: A Family Recipe — Luschka at Diary of a First Child shares a recipe that reminds her of childhood and more specifically, of her mother. It's a South African take on sweet and sour chicken and what it lacks in healthy it makes up for in tantalising to the taste buds.
  • One Recipe, Three Uses: Dishwasher Liquid Detergent, Dish Soap, and Hand Soap — If you love saving money and time, you'll love this green recipe from Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama, guest posting at Natural Parents Network.
  • Our Family's Favorite Pies — Abbie at Farmer's Daughter shares recipes and tutorials for the quintessential American dessert.
  • Deliciously Easy Crock Pot ChiliLactating Girl shares her crock pot chili that is not only quick and easy, but awesome.
  • All-Purpose Crock Pot PorkCrunchy Con Mommy's simple "recipe" for cooking perfect pork in the crock pot is for whatever mood her family is in!
  • Family Rules: A Recipe for Harmony — Cooped-up kids + winter weather + frazzled parents can all blend together into a recipe for disaster. Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares what brought back the peace in her house.
  • Favorite Healthy Family Recipes — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares her family’s healthy eating experiences along with links to free printable vegetarian recipes that her family has created with love.
  • Grandma's Banana Bread — Megan at The Boho Mama has early and fond memories of her grandma's banana bread. It's love in a loaf!
  • Family Comfort Food — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares a recipe handed down that moms have made for their kids, for regular meals as well as to comfort.


  1. That is so touching! You're making me feel envious, because my amazing cook of a Grandma never got to meet my children, but I know they would have loved her treats as much as I did.

  2. Oh man I love banana bread! I'm definitely going to try this recipe.

  3. Your grandma sounds awesome! I love banana bread, and special memories like yours would make it even better. :) Deb @ LivingMontessoriNow.com

  4. And with no nuts! (I prefer my banana bread with no nuts.) Thank you for sharing this recipe, I've bookmarked it as I've been looking for some good banana recipes.

    It sounds like a LOVELY family tradition to have and pass along!

  5. pinning this one to my "food" board right away. I will definitely make this with my daughter too. I just switch flour to Pamela's gluten free and it always works. (no offense to your classic recipe!)
    I love the story of your care package and the image of you slicing the bread and drinking milk in those first months. I can just feel the love through your post... .

    By the way, I really love your header. It's just beautiful and so peaceful.

  6. There are frozen, overripe bananas in my freezer at this very moment that are practically calling out to fulfill their destiny in this dish. YUM!


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