Fannie Farmer’s Banana Bread

One of the things I want to do this year is move. When The Departed left, initially I spent a lot of time on spreadsheets, working out the economics of staying in my house. Why should I be forced to move? I thought.

But the longer The Child and I rattled around the house by ourselves, the more we realized – we didn’t really like it. It’s too big for two people, but more than that: it’s too generic for these two people.

I poked around online at ads for house rentals, apartments, townhouses, and ran across an ad for an older house, described as “cozy,” which is of course code for “small.” It hadn’t been updated in some time, and what updates there were seemed to be in keeping with the 1940’s character of the place.

I want that house, I thought. That’s my house. In my mind, it is already full of my grandma’s kitchen gear, and I’m crocheting something in a cozy corner.

Home: Something this large, generic house I live in has, oddly and in spite of my best efforts, never managed to be.

I’m stuck in this house for now, until The Departed and I can come to some sort of agreement – or the courts sort it out for us, one way or the other. In the meantime, I console myself with daydreams of a future that is firmly rooted in my past: A simpler world, with less fuss and much less stuff.

So the other morning as I found myself up much too early, rattling around my much too large kitchen, I reached back into the past for some comfort food. While my morning coffee brewed, I pulled out my 1940s-era copy of The Boston Cooking School Cookbook, by Fannie Merritt Farmer, and made myself a loaf from the simplest and best banana bread recipe I’ve ever found.

Best eaten warm, with butter.

Fannie Farmer's Banana Bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (I use walnuts)
  1. Crush bananas with silver fork. Add eggs, beaten light, sugar, flour sifted with salt and soda, and nut meats. Bake one hour in moderately slow oven (325 degrees F).
You can use a regular fork, they work just fine. Silver is prettier, though.


This is my contribution to Weekend Cooking, hosted by Beth Fish Reads. Why not swing by and see what other simple pleasures await?


  1. says

    I have that same cookbook — probably given to my mom when she was first married. And yes, there is a huge difference between a house and a home. Hope you find the perfect home.

  2. says

    My mom has had that cookbook for as long as I have known her (LOL!) She swears by it! I will have to borrow it and make the banana bread recipe for the kids one of these days – it looks good.

  3. says

    Yum! And now I know where my grandma got her recipe, because it’s just the same!

    Rooting for you as you make this transition! You’re doing a great job thinking it through and feeling it through.

  4. Long time friend says

    That’s my mother’s recipe too! Best Banana Bread ever! Corrie used to say “chocolate makes everything better!” The addendum to that is “cooking makes everything better!”

  5. Demetra Moine says

    The reason for the silver fork is that stainless makes the banana turn dark when you cook it and you get those little brown streaks. You should also not use a metal bowl to mix it in for the same reason. This information was passed on to me by a much older and far more experienced cook. I tested the tale and would appear to be true, in my experience.

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