Now that we’ve made it through the stuff-our-faces Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, we can reflect on the moments we cherish. Holiday traditions are a big part of what makes a house a home, and sharing some of those traditions with our neighbors can make a neighborhood feel like family.
When we grow up and have our own families, we often carry some of our childhood traditions along with us. My husband and his mother would make sugar cookies with homemade frosting and share them with family and friends. Lots and lots of cookies. Hours of work. It IS fun to take on that project as a family with kids, BUT… shopping for gifts, planning visits with family, holiday parties, and neighborhood events sometimes prevent us from making time for all of that work! My family didn’t have traditions centered on baked goods, but for the past few years we have adopted my husband’s traditions. This last Christmas, however, we chose an easier route – MINI BANANA BREAD!
The recipe we wanted to use is from my Nana. My whole life, whenever family gathered in her home, she served her delicious banana bread. The aromas of the baking bread filling my own family’s home, and the flavors in each freshly baked bite, stir up cozy feelings of nostalgia. That is something I love to share with others, so this year we hoped to spread that cheer in our neighborhood! Ultimately, we were super short on time and flaked out on the bread, settling on the Original Chex Mix recipe (found here – we used a full stick of butter and doubled the spices). It didn’t stir up quite as many nostalgic feelings, but it was still fun to deliver little bags of Chex Mix and candy to neighbors!
In spite of the fact we didn’t make the bread, I want to share the recipe with our neighborhood friends. Hopefully it will bring joy to any who try it! You could bake it for the ones you love on Valentine’s Day, or for a cozy neighborhood dinner. I COULD share Nana’s recipe for Norwegian Julekage Bread, but that’s an acquired taste and I’m not sure East Dallas is ready for that one. ;) The recipe below is for a full-sized loaf, but it is not difficult to do the math for splitting it into smaller portions. Happy Baking!
Banana Bread (Nana’s recipe)
½ cup butter*
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour***
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup walnuts or pecans (if desired)
*Nana’s recipe calls for margarine, but now that I am an adult and have learned more about ingredients, I know that butter is better for us than margarine. Plus it tastes better. :D
**Egg allergy/sensitivity: replace each egg with one chia egg (1Tbsp ground chia seed soaked 10-15min in 3Tbsp water). For this recipe that means 2 chia eggs.
***Wheat allergy/sensititivy: replace flour 1:1 with gluten-free baking flour. We use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour. Make sure to purchase the one with the blue graphics – the one with red requires added xanthan gum, whereas the blue package already has xanthan gum added.
One mission of the OEDECPTA is to bring some cheer to the neighborhood by providing meals for our neighbors in their time of need. Whether it is for a new baby, an illness, hospital stay, or whatever may be the case, we want to make sure that our friends and neighbors are seen and taken care of. You will be alerted that a Meal Train has been started for a family via Facebook and email. This is a great chance for us to get to know each other and bless one another in our little community. If you know a neighbor who has given birth or is going through a hardship and they could use this service, please contact Robin Cook either via Facebook or email at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will get it going.