My Gran was an incredible woman and lived a life that was like something out of a Hollywood film. She was kind and loving, and she had a wicked sense of humor. Unfortunately, I was never able to see her as much as I would have loved to due to us being in different countries for the majority of my life, but what time I did get with her was precious.
Whenever I’d go over to her house, she would sit me down in the kitchen with a big piece of her famous banana bread, and we’d talk about life. Sometimes this would revolve around whatever was happening in my life and the lives of our family members, and sometimes it would be Gran remeniscing about her heyday. Her stories would usually end with her chuckling, wiping her eyes, and saying, “Ah, well, if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry,” offering another piece of banana bread and pouring herself a gin and tonic.
The stories ranged from her howling with laughter as she remembered bloopers such as trying to put the star on top of the Christmas tree, leaning in too far, and bringing it all down with a crash underneath her, excitedly telling me all about taking swim lessons with an Olympian after winning a race, dancing around while telling me about her ballroom dancing days, getting misty-eyed while remembering her first fiancé who was shot down during World War II, and bursting with pride while talking about the accomplishments of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Even though she’s no longer with us, I find myself thinking about her often, sometimes after opening my mouth and having one of her famous sayings come out of it. She was one of the strongest women I know, and she deserves to be celebrated. So, for her birthday, Owen and I made her a birthday cake: her famous banana bread.
If you decide to make the recipe, I hope you enjoy it, but don’t forget the most important ingredient: love. My Gran loved her family fiercely and always loved us unconditionally. Cut your family and yourself a piece, sit down, and soak up every minute of being with each other.
If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.
Gran’s Banana Bread
- 1 1/2 cups self rising flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margerine
- 3 small ripe bananas, pureed
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Sift dry ingredients together.
- Combine with butter until it looks like breadcrumbs.
- Mix in pureed bananas.
- Fold in beaten eggs.
- Grease a bundt pan, and pour in the mixture.
- Cook at 350*F for about 30-40 minutes or until toothpick comes clean.