Alex had a ridiculous number of snow days in a row recently, so I haven’t got much recipe testing done. But I did have some bananas that were going black, so I decided a good snow day activity would be making banana bread!


This recipe is from How America Eats by Clementine Paddleford. I was reading through it again on one of the recent snow days. Actually, I had I locked myself in a separate room from my kids for a few minutes. And in those minutes I was reminded all over again how much I love her simple, informative style of writing. (You can get her book here on eBay.)  As I was reading about wonder-cook 14-year-old Carol Jean Byma and her banana bread while listening to TJ scrabbling at the lock with various toys to try and open it, I decided that once I was brave enough open the door, my wild monkeys were going to help me make banana bread. Because it’s possible that they could some day be wonder cooks.

Or expert lock-picks.  It’s all the same thing, right?


But they did do  a great job smashing the bananas.


Sooner than I would have liked, the bread was ready for the oven.

I added chocolate chips because I needed chocolate.


And it was a success!


“This is really good. It tastes just like my mom’s banana bread.”

“Oh!” Alex yelled in the background, “I want to try it, too!”



The Verdict: Very Good

From The Testing Notes –

So, it turns out Carol Jean Byma really is a wonder cook. The banana bread was great. It was very crumbly fresh from the oven, but after it cooled it was easier to slice and had a very sticky and sweet top crust that was a really good foil to the soft interior. The chocolate chips are optional (for some people) but we always love chocolate and banana together.

And yes, eventually TJ did find a toy that was able to pick the lock and he broke into the room and found me. It was only a matter of time.