Joy the Baker

Banana Cranberry Bread

November 10, 2008

It should come as no surprise that I relate to the world through food. Sure, I’m fairly well adjusted, I can carry on a warm conversation and function in life, but in the secret world that is my brain, I’m always trying to understand the world around me by relating it to something I’ve eaten.

Crazy? Maybe. Confusing? Let me explain.

Say I walk into my parents’ house and am greeted with a hug and kiss from my father. That’s just like eating a bowl of vanilla bean ice cream smothered with warm dulce de leche sauce. The hug from my dad and the ice cream create the same feeling in my brain. Get it?

The smell of fresh rain on concrete is just like eating a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup.

Having a heart to heart with my mom is just like sipping Earl Grey tea with extra sugar and milk.

Getting a paper cut is just like taking a shot of cheap tequila with salt and dry limes.

Falling absolutely, head over heals, silly in love with someone is just like smooth bourbon and cigarettes at midnight.

Sitting next to Grandmother at the dinner table and feeling her almost thoughtlessly stroke my hand as if it were her own… that’s just like this perfectly spiced Banana Cranberry Bread. Yes, there’s that much comfort in the bread. It’s the real deal.

Is this making any sense? My head has been in the clouds lately. Chalk it up to lots of bourbon and cigarettes at midnight.

Wherever my head is these days, I do know amazing banana bread when it crosses my path- thank goodness for that.

Banana Cranberry Bread

thank you to SmittenKitchen who thanks SimplyRecipes

Print this Recipe!

3 to 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted salted butter
3/4-1 cup light brown sugar, depending on the level of sweetness you prefer
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 1/2 cup of flour

1 cup fresh cranberries

No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla and bourbon, then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour, mix. Add the cranberries, and stir until just incorporated. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.


90 Comments Add A Comment

  • i’m completely convinced. you couldn’t have written a better, more alluring prelude to this recipe even if you tried!

  • looks amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing (gasp!)

  • I love the relation of life to food, how neat. You could totally do a book on mood foods, with things to eat to feel those ways. :)

  • Wow!!! This post is absolutely beautiful. Thanks for always sharing your awesome recipes and stories.

  • It makes perfect sense to me…I associate smells of food with memories and feelings. Right now, my apartment is filled with the smell of baking brioches and that takes me right back to my childhood in Germany. And oddly enough, I’m sipping Earl Grey tea now!

  • what a great idea- banana bread is so sweet that I’m sure tart cranberries would be the perfect compliment. I might have to make some to bring with me when I visit my in-laws for Thanksgiving!

  • No, not crazy at all… :-)

    I made the “All Purpose holiday cake” this weekend, and it was a big hit with the family! Chopping up all those apples though…I must really love them! What I’m getting at is that I have almost a whole bag of cranberries left over…I’m SO making this!! I hope they can eat fast enough to keep up with my baking…

  • hhmm, should I send up a new supply of bourbon for you?! my idea of falling in love is dark chocolate and flutes of champagne. LOTS of both!

  • Ha its nice how you relate to food in every day situation :) This bread looks so nice!! the colours are ideal for christmas :) ha I m relating events to food too!! maybe you re not alone :)

  • Girl, from your lips to God’s ears. You are so right!
    This totally explains why I would rather eat a plate of fried green tomatoes than a lean cuisine.
    I’m glad I found you~ I’ll be back.

  • My oldest would LOVE this bread! I’m going to have to give it a try this week… I’ve bought several bags of cranberries to keep on hand throughout the winter, and this looks like a good way to begin using them.

  • Your bread looks lovely and I believe I really can feel the comfort just reading your post! Probably because I can feel the grandmother stroking my hand in my mind even though it physically never happens anymore. Great post.

  • For real, this made me a little teary. And I don’t get teary. You’ve put words to thoughts that until now made sense only to me. On a regular Monday morning, I’m extremely grateful to you for that.

  • I never liked banana bread, but this one looks incredible good!
    And I don’t think it’s crazy to relate to the world through food. Food is kind of emotion, isn’t it? But maybe that’s hard to understand for members of the fastfood generation. :-)

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