April showers bring May flowers… Right? It’s raining today in South Korea, and I wonder if the same proverb rings true on this side of the world. This is my first spring in Asia, and as a stay-at-home mom, I am embracing all the crafts, library storytimes, and Pinterest-ing projects. On this rainy day, I’m skipping running errands for non-essentials and staying put.
What do I like to do when it’s rainy out? I like to bake. It fills my need to produce tangible results for my efforts, and it makes the house feel warm and cozy when the weather is still considering a second winter outside.
My favorite treat to bake on days like today is my mother-in-law’s banana bread.
The recipe card for this classic is so well used that it’s entirely smudged. It’s a very easy recipe to follow, even with two little girls running through the kitchen dragging their rain boots behind them. I prop both of them up on stools, and they marvel as the KitchenAid swirls whole bananas into delicious, soft dough. Against the voice in my head, I let them try the batter.
While the banana bread bakes in my small Korean oven, I zip the girls into rain jackets, pull on their pink rain boots, and we head into the backyard for a few minutes of mandatory outside time. Once we are good and soaking wet, we come back into a dry kitchen that smells like warm sugar. My toddler is still belting her favorite song, “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” by BJ Thomas. An oldie that her Mama loves.
The banana bread cools over naptime (or so I tell the girls it has to) and secretly once I get them both down to sleep, I slip back into the kitchen and butter up the first slice for myself. It’s still warm from the rack. Delightful. I like to bake three mini loaves instead of using the traditional large loaf pan. I freeze one for later, and our family enjoys the other two for breakfast the following day. My future self is already thanking me for that freezer loaf.
Here’s my mother-in-law’s banana bread recipe and after eight years of baking it, I think I’ve got it just right:
Banana Nut Bread
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 or 4)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
Optional: 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips or whatever flavor you love – peanut butter chips are delicious, too.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Cream sugar, oil, and eggs in a blender until light
3. Add flour, salt, and baking soda alternatively
4. Stir in mashed bananas (I thaw my frozen bananas for about 30 minutes)
5. Add lemon juice and stir in nuts
6. Spread into a well-greased 9×5 loaf pan or 3 mini loaf pans (I prefer to use the mini loaf pans because it cooks evenly and you can freeze one for later)
- One large loaf pan cooks for 50-60 minutes
- Smaller pans cook for 45-50 minutes
7. Remove banana bread immediately and cool on the rack. I like to cool on the sides of the pan so they slide out easily later.
8. Slice and enjoy with lots of creamy butter
Hope you enjoy baking this banana bread recipe on a rainy day this month!