Note from the author-
I want to apologize for going so long without a post. It’s been a crazy summer. We drove cross-country. We’re selling our house. I’m growing out my pixie cut. It’s been madness. None of this has stopped me from helping the homeless community but it has kept me from sitting down to write about it.
In addition to my personal struggles, Las Vegas has been suffering from near record breaking heat.
In a three day time span, seven people died from heat exposure. The limited amount of time that I usually dedicate to this blog has been spent seeking contributions of water, ice and sports drinks for our homeless community and distributing them during and separate from our weekly G Street distribution. It’s bad out there, folks. Do what you can to help.
On to the main event…
I grew up one of eight kids. Being the youngest, I was the last to go to school and when I started, I had half-day kindergarten in the afternoons. Every morning, after my siblings dispersed, the house got quiet and I had my Mom to myself for a few brief hours. Some of my fondest, early memories are of those mornings.
My parents were born during the Great Depression in Iowa, where recovery was slow. They were raised to believe that waste was unacceptable and having eight kids to raise in a single-income home only solidified that belief.
My Mom often salvaged bruised produce from our local supermarket to make jam. She was always mending things instead of throwing them out and we wore hand-me downs so frequently that my sisters and I still argue over who each item “belonged” to. I was raised with the “mend it or make do” philosophy and to this day, I try to follow it.
With that many kids in the house, food didn’t last long enough to go bad. On those rare occasions that bananas over-ripened my Mom and I would make banana bread before she walked me to school. At such a young age, seeing my Mom make a delicacy out of slimy, bruised bananas was magical.
The best part was that I got the first piece. I had five, ravenous brothers and they swarmed food like angry bees. I never got the first piece of anything. The sheer power was intoxicating.
Between the nostalgia and the early lessons in food conservation, banana bread has always held a special place in my heart. Fast-forward thirty years and I’m the mother, making banana bread with my small children. If I’m lucky they will harbor the same happy memories that I do.
My mom didn’t have a sacred, heirloom recipe. She used the recipe on the back of the flour bag, so that’s where I started, too.
Luckily for all of us, my kids are very inconsistent with their banana eating habits so I’ve had a lot of ingredients to practice with.
Over the years, I have perfected my recipe, cutting back on some ingredients and cutting out others entirely. Replacing white flour with whole wheat flour is easy in because it doesn’t change the color. I whip my bananas into an even consistency because I’m not a fan of hunks of mushy banana. The change from bread into muffins was tricky but portioning and slicing bread on a folding table in the dark did not seem practical.
Pro-tip, don’t bring a knife with you for slicing or anything else, ever.
My new, improved and fully spectacular Emergency Banana Muffin recipe is something that I’m very proud of. Enjoy.
Emergency Banana Bread Muffins
2 ¼ C over-ripened bananas
2 C Whole Wheat Flour
1 C brown sugar
½ C softened butter
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin tins with non-stick spray, inside cups and on top of pan.
Mash bananas and whip thoroughly with a whisk until the texture is uniform and there are no lumps. Set aside.
Using a mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar. Add beaten eggs and mashed bananas and mix thoroughly.
Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix, just to moisten batter.
Pour into muffin tin, until cups are nearly full. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Makes 12-15 muffins.