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Sweet bread quick to make.

A favorite childhood treat was my mothers banana nut bread. Fresh from the oven, slathered in butter, or cold and covered with cream cheese, banana nut bread is a delicious treat. And Mom's was special; she even made it for gifts at Christmas.

The only thing I didn't like about this quick bread were the dark-skinned bananas Mom would freeze for later use. They just did not look appetizing to me, although the bread later dispelled that image.

Quick breads are just that--quick and easy to make. Since there's no yeast involved, such breads can be quickly mixed and baked. Although breads have been around for some 12,000 years, and bananas since about 2,000 B.C., the two probably weren't combined until chemical leavening agents were developed. The first banana nut bread recipes show up in the 18th century, after pearl ash (refined potash) and baking powder became popular as leavening agents.

Some facts on bananas:

* The fruit has had many names--from banna to funana. In India, it was called fruit of the wise men. African tribes are credited with giving the fruit its permanent name.

* Bananas are picked when green, even if they are to be sold locally. The fruit, if left on the tree, never ripens well. The sugar content increases dramatically after the fruit is picked, and the brighter the yellow skin, the sweeter the fruit.

* Store bananas in the refrigerator; this helps slow down ripening. If a banana becomes too ripe, freeze it in its skin for later use in banana bread.

Tips on quick breads:

* Have all ingredients at room temperature.

* Quick-bread batter works well as a loaf or in a muffin tin. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full with batter.

* Quick breads will often crack while baking. This is characteristic of the bread, and there isn't any way to prevent it.

* Fresh bread crumbles easily, so let a loaf cool thoroughly before slicing.

* Quick breads can be stored at room temperature or frozen.

Betty DiBello, of Austin, Texas, wrote to request a recipe for banana nut rolls that she remembers being published in GRIT back in the late 1980s or early 1990s. She says the rolls were moist and tastier than other banana bread recipes.

Solveig Smith, of New Windsor, Md., sent this recipe. She says it is moist and tasty, and that she has been making it for 40 years to great acclaim from family and friends. It may not be the recipe that Betty had in mind; I was unable to locate anything in the GRIT recipe files, which go back only to 1993.
Banana Nut Bread

1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
  2 eggs
  2 cups prepared baking mix
  1 cup mashed ripe banana,
      2 to 3 medium
1/3 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350[degrees]F Grease a 9- by 5-inch
loaf pan; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together
shortening and sugar. Add remaining ingredients
and mix until well-blended. Pour
into prepared pan. Bake for about 55 minutes.
Cool on a rack before slicing. Yields 1

This classic recipe comes from "The Fannie Farmer Cookbook."
Banana Nut Bread

3 ripe bananas, well-mashed
2 eggs, well-beaten
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350[degrees]F. Grease an 8 1/2- by 4
1/2- by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan; set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together bananas and
eggs. Stir in flour, sugar, salt and baking
soda. Add walnuts and blend. Pour batter
into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, or
until toothpick inserted in center of loaf
comes out clean. Remove loaf from pan and
cool on wire rack.

Eva Jaynes, of Florence, Ala., hopes someone can help her find a recipe for a yogurt pie called Peaches and Cream.

Several responses were sent to us; I'm not sure any of them really fit what Eva is searching for, however. This one from Maribel Brown, of Sandusky, Ohio, sounded the closest.
Frozen Fruited Yogurt Pie

2 containers (8 oz. each)
    peach yogurt
1/2 cup mashed peaches
    (8 3/4 oz. can, drained,
    OR fresh)
  1 container (8 oz.) refrigerated
     whipped topping
1 8- to 9-inch graham cracker pie
     crust OR 1 baked pie crust

In a large bowl, combine yogurt and fruit.
Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into crust.
Freeze for 4 hours.

Remove and place in refrigerator for 30
minutes to 1 hour before serving.

Store in freezer.

Note: May be garnished with fresh fruit.
Any combination of yogurt and crushed,
drained fruit (or fresh fruit) can be used.

Janice James, of Kirk, Colo., was interested
in a recipe for George Washington pie.

Anna Grusetskie, of Sugarloaf, Pa., sent a recipe for Washington Pie that sounds close to what Janice remembers.
Washington Pie

      pie crust, for double-crust pie
      white bread, stale
1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 cups applesauce
    1 cup raisins
1/2 cup molasses
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 teaspoon salt
    4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 cup milk

Heat oven to 325[degrees]F.

Line a 10- by 8- by 2 1/2-inch pan with
1/2 of crust; set aside.

In a large bowl, soak enough stale white
bread in water to make about 5 cups. Press
out water then add remaining ingredients.

Stir well and fill lined pan. Add top crust
and pinch crusts together. Bake for 50 to 60
minutes. Cool and frost with vanilla icing;
cut into 2-inch squares.

We located, online, a recipe for a George Washington Pie that doesn't include any fruit. That recipe states a Martha Washington pie is similar but includes candied fruit in the filing.
Martha Washington Pie

2 9-inch unbaked pie crusts
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon unsweetened
  cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
2 cups flour
3/4 cup golden raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons milk

Heat oven to 375[degrees]F. Line 2 pie plates with
crust; set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together butter,
sugar, eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, cocoa and
baking powder until smooth; alternately
add 1 cup milk and flour. Stir in raisins and

Pour mixture into pie shells and bake for
60 to 70 minutes; do not underbake.

For icing, combine confectioner's sugar
and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Gradually stir in 4
tablespoons milk until desired consistency
is reached. Spread icing on pie when it is
still warm. Yields two 9-inch pies.

Laura Bain, of Arbuckle, Calif., wrote to request a recipe for glazed buttermilk bars.

Sarah Vaughan, of Waterville, Maine, sent this possibility. She found the recipe in "The Wellesley Cookie Exchange Cookbook," which was published in 1986.
Buttermilk Bars

1 1/4 cups sugar
  3/4 cup packed brown sugar
    2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts
  1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
  1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1 teaspoon baking soda
  1 cup buttermilk
  1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
      milk OR cream

Heat oven to 350[degrees]F. Grease a 9- by 13-inch
baking pan; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, brown
sugar, flour and butter with a pastry
blender until mixture is in coarse crumbs.
Take out 2 cups of the mixture, and reserve
the rest.

In a large bowl, place the 2 cups of sugar
mixture. Add coconut and nuts; combine.
Pat the mixture into prepared pan.

To the reserved sugar mixture, add egg,
salt, cinnamon, baking soda, buttermilk and
vanilla; mix well. Pour over mixture in prepared
pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove to
rack to cool.

Combine confectioners sugar and enough
milk or cream to reach a glaze consistency.
Drizzle over cooled bars.

Yields 48 bars.

Help Wanted

* Laura Pulliam, of Madison, Fla., would like to find dried hominy flakes.

* Cecille Ellis, of Millport, Ala., is looking for a butterscotch bar or brownie recipe from long ago. She has lost her recipe and remembers that it called for melted butter and brown sugar to be brought to a boil before mixing in the rest of the ingredients.

* Estelle Shackelford, of Sneads Ferry, N.C., hopes someone has the recipe for a tuna casserole that was printed on the bag for self-rising flour about 1958. The flour was either Betty Crocker or Pillsbury brand.

* Ethel Dimm, of Tigard, Ore., remembers clipping a recipe from GRIT about 50 years ago for Conkie Doodle. It included corned beef, tomatoes, onions and cheese.

* Mary Ann Gail, of Leavenworth, Kan., is looking for recipes for potato pizza.

* Marie Yeomans, of Galveston, Texas, hopes to learn how to pickle okra.

* Estal Watson, of Bridgeport, W.Va., would like to find a good hot dog chili recipe and a recipe for ribbon cake made with gelatin.

* Claire Crenshaw, of Silver Spring, Md., has been looking for a recipe for potato salad that includes cooked chicken.

* Edna Allen, of Louisville, Ohio, hopes to find recipes for pickled heart and tongue.

* Ray Kressler, of Bath, Pa., writes, "My grandmother, every holiday, made a suet pudding. I have not had it in 45 years, and it was wonderful. It had a white sauce. I would appreciate a recipe."

* Pam Hapgood, of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., is looking for a chocolate sponge-candy recipe.

To help another reader or to request a recipe, write to Renders' Favorite Recipes, c/o GRIT Magazine, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609. Please include your name, address and daytime phone. Include recipe source and number of servings when possible. Recipes cannot be returned as they are eventually sent to the person requesting the recipe. Recipe requests will he printed at our discretion as space allows.
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Title Annotation:Readers' Favorite Recipes
Author:Teller, Jean
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2004
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