I tend to double this recipe as my friends and their appetites always seem to multiply once word gets out. It takes kindly to doubling, as well as to variations. I like walnuts, and some people like chocolate. You can sneak ground flax, wheat bran, wheat germ or chia into the batter and no one will be the wiser. But for simplicity's sake, the basic recipe is as follows.
Lucy's Banana Bread
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 t vanilla
1 cup crushed banana
1 t nutmeg
1 1/2 cup flour
1 t baking soda dissolved in 1/4 c hot water
additional sugar/nutmeg for topping
Preheat your oven to 350° and butter your pans.
I tend to use mini loaf pans because they are easily given and easily frozen.
(note: I don't usually use a mixer unless I'm making meringues for the masses. But you absolutely can. And I absolutely won't judge you for it. Beating/kneading/whipping by hand is a poor mama's alternative to therapy. And it works wonders for my disposition.)
Cream the butter and sugar well, until the mixture is light, fluffy and the palest yellow. This is the step that will matter in the end. And when you think it's creamed, beat it for at least another minute. (I'm not kidding.) Add the egg and vanilla, mixing thoroughly. Stir in the mashed banana next, followed by the nutmeg. Mix in the flour, all of it, and stir until it's well-combined. Last, but by no means least, stir your piping hot soda water quickly into the batter. I do not know why this matters so much, but I promise it's the secret. Oh, and add chopped walnuts, or chocolate, if you wish. Not more than a cup or so. Turn into prepared pans, about three fourths full. Finally, stir together enough sugar and nutmeg to be sprinkled generously over the top of the batter.
Bake in preheated oven for forty minutes, give or take a few minutes.
Fair is fair. I'll just be washing the dishes. Sighing loudly.
When time is up, give them a peek. If they're a rich golden brown with a crackly sugar crust, they're ready. Let cool on a rack, until really, really cool.
Unless you're as impatient as we are. Besides, they taste best still warm, and dripping with melting local butter.
So. I still hate bananas. But exceptions can be made. Thank you, Lucy.