The past 10 days have been a blur of emotion, sleepless nights and travel. Don’t laugh but I had a vision. I’ve never had one before. It was very real and very disturbing. In the vision my father-in-law was being admitted to the hospital and eventually passed away. Later that day my green-eyed Irish guy called and told me his sister called and told him Pops was back in the hospital. We traveled across the state each day, leaving early in the morning and returning late in the evening or in the wee hours of the morning, so that we could spend as much time as possible with Pops. Each day he got worse. Finally hospice was called and he was moved to the facility Tuesday evening. At 2:00 a.m. Wednesday morning he passed away peacefully in his sleep. He was a son, a husband, a friend, a teacher, an actor, a singer. I could go on and on but most of all he was loved by many. He touched hundreds, if not thousands, of lives. We mourn the loss of this kind, gentle man as heaven welcomes him as an angel. RIP Larry Hinken.
One thing Pops loved was sweets. His favorite was chocolate cake but any baked good could entice him. Add a cup of black coffee and he was good to go. I made this banana bread with him in mind. It’s full of banana flavor having 4 bananas in it. It’s lightly spiced with warm cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. A touch of sour cream adds to its moistness and gives it a little tang. I made it lighter by using half butter and half oil and by sifting the dry ingredients. The result is a light, moist, spicy, super tasty banana bread. YUM!
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 large very ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray with non-stick cooking spray or butter a 9 x 5 bread pan and then lightly coat with flour, tapping out any excess. Set aside. Mash the bananas in a medium sized bowl. Add the sour cream and vanilla. Mix well and set aside. Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices into a small bowl. Set aside. Place the butter, oil and sugars into a large mixing bowl. Using an electric hand mixer, beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each on medium speed until incorporated or 30 seconds to 1 minute. Next add the banana mixture and mix on low until combined or 20-30 seconds. Sift half of the flour mixture directly into the mixing bowl. Beat on low speed until just incorporated or 20-30 seconds. Sift the other half of the flour mixture in once again mixing until just combined or 20-30 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to assure everything is mixed well. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes, turning half way through, or until a toothpick inserted in the center in several places comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into slices and enjoy!
Wishing you love, laughter and cake,