A Bread for all Seasons

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The hand-written directions for my friend Jayme's banana bread has seen years of use.  Holding a place of honor between the recipe for my Mama's honey bread and my Aunt Edna's angel food cake, this well-loved, batter-smeared, child-handled piece of paper has carried me through many seasons of cooking for my family.  It has been whipped out whenever there are over-ripe bananas on my counter, or when a whiny child begged for something sweet, or for an after-school snack when the days were long and Math was hard and tummies were growling for some comfort food.

This recipe has gone on vacation with me during summers at the beach when the Atlantic was still frigid.  Wet, shivering fingers reached for it's just-baked goodness as a child huddled in the cocoon of a fluffy towel, munching contentedly on a thick slice of its crumbly warmth.  It has produced rows of neat loaves to be given to neighbors at Christmas or to nestle in a basket with a home-cooked meal for a grieving family.  This bread has been served at birthday parties, dinner parties, baseball practices, church potlucks, neighborhood carry-ins, reunions and funerals.  It has graced our table at breakfast, lunch and dinner.  More often than not, it was served with coffee during early dawn hours or as a bedtime snack with a glass of milk.

Tonight I am baking this bread again, and as the fragrant aroma spreads through the house, it will draw my family to the kitchen.  Together, we'll sit at the table with our thick, steamy slices and carry on this sweet tradition.

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