When I wrote Songbird and Song of Return, I wanted readers to truly see, hear, feel, and even taste history. As my books are based on stories my grandparents told me about life in Alabama during World War II, they also include many of their favorite foods and recipes.
My grandmother gave me a recipe book for a wedding present. It is full of family recipes, and on each handwritten recipe card, she wrote “I love you” at the bottom. The book is very special to me, and I use recipes from it often. Probably the recipe I have used the most is my grandmother’s banana nut bread. There is nothing like a warm slice of banana bread with a cold glass of milk!
In Song of Return, Victoria bakes some of the bread for one her popular garden parties. Reading it in the book, makes me want to bake some now! My tip – make sure the bananas are well aged. It makes the bread moist and delicious!
Joyce’s Banana Nut Bread
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
8 to 10 tablespoons buttermilk
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 to 4 mashed bananas (aged)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1/8 teaspoon salt
Important – dissolve baking soda and buttermilk together. Mix ingredients in order as listed above. Grease and flour two loaf pans. Pour bread batter evenly into the two pans. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Check for doneness with a wooden toothpick. Enjoy!
“Victoria arranged alternating slices of banana nut and zucchini bread on a plate while Ava stirred sugar in the tea and Myrtle set out glass cups.”
Song of Return, Chapter 15.