Growing up, we had the nicest neighbors, one of whom was called Sunny. Her name was perfectly suited to her cheery disposition and she was quite the homemaker extraordinaire. I remember being fascinated by how she vacuumed her home every day, and required her three (super handsome) teenage boys to remove their shoes before they entered, which apparently became a habit back when they lived in Hawaii, as a way of keeping the beach outside where it belonged. (Unfortunately the same rules apply at my home and I have a heck of a time keeping playground sand out...but I digress). Sunny was famous for her baking, especially her fantastic banana bread that was rich, moist and chock-full of goodies like nuts, coconut and chocolate chips. My mom tried many, many times to get her recipe, but she usually just waived her hand and insisted that she didn't have it written down, that she just made it with whatever she had on hand. When my mom finally succeeded, we were all thrilled and made it as often as we had soft, over-ripe bananas, which wasn't nearly often enough.
There used to be a local banana grower up the coast, but unfortunately he is no longer in business, so we sometimes splurge on some organic ones from the super market...they are so good, and good for you too. I love to make banana bread almost as much as my kids love to eat it. Loaded with butter and sour cream it certainly isn't like the dense, whole wheat version that you can find elsewhere. It is more like a pound cake with a moist, tender crumb, but luckily, it takes just a few minutes to throw together. Sometimes I put chocolate chips in the batter, and sometimes I leave it plain, like I did today. Either way, it won't last long...
1/2 C butter, softened
1 C sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 C unbleached flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/2 C sour cream (lite is fine)
2 large mashed ripe (free-trade organic) bananas (about 1 C)
1 t vanilla extract
1 C chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Sift in flour, baking soda and salt and mix just until combined. Stir in sour cream, bananas and extract, taking care not to over mix. Fold in chocolate chips (if using). Pour into greased standard loaf pan and bake for 1 hour, or until toothpick comes out clean.