If I can cook it, you can cook it And I'll travel the world to bring it back home to you.

Joanne Chang’s Famous Banana Bread

         We were having a house guest we knew started each day with a banana.  So I dutifully brought a bunch of bananas home from the supermarket.  I am not one to strip corn or pull apart bunches of bananas in any grocery store and so I arrived home with 6 bananas that cost all of about 60 cents.  The houseguest stayed only one night and Andrew was quick to point we had a lot of bananas on hand. They slowly browned on the kitchen counter.  Brown bananas are an invitation to make Banana Bread.  And since they were a regular part of tea with my Canadian mother, I knew the bread couldn’t have been all that hard to make since my mother considered any time spent in the kitchen was time away from doing absolutely anything else.  You name it and she would have rather done it than step foot in her kitchen. But she was also a paragon of thrift so no ripe banana would have gone unused. 

Joanne Chang of Boston’s Flour Bakery and Cafe

Apparently Joanne Chang’s mother and mine would have gotten along famously.  Chef Chang, of Boston’s Flour Bakery, had a mother whose thrift equaled mine’s.  She has vivid memories of her mother’s forays to the grocery where she bought overripe bananas for 10 cents a pound.  These she would leave out in the kitchen exhorting her family of four to ‘have a banana’ whenever they were in earshot of the kitchen.  Now Ms. Chang is well known for her taking American classics and turning them on their heads. We’ve featured her a dozen times in recipes from Strawberry Shortcakes https://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2013/06/joanne-changs-balsamic-strawberry.htmlto Buttermilk Chive Salad Dressing https://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2013/07/farmers-market-salad-with-buttermilk.html.            

But Chang is most famous for taking classic American foods like Oreos and Fig Newtons and making them into far more satisfying versions of the originals. See this post for both.  https://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2012/12/christmas-baking-homemade-oreos-and.html. So it stands to reason that her banana bread would be the best of the best and it really is.  And talk about simple!  My mother would have glommed onto this recipe in a New York minute.  It is packed with banana flavor, dense and filled with toasted walnuts, cinnamon and vanilla.  It took me all of 15 minutes to make the batter.  Then into the oven for an hours or so and the house was filled with the delicious smell of this lovely Tea Time or anytime treat.  Here is the recipe:

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