Banana Bread

I just received a letter from my great aunt Vivian.  She gave me four new recipes!!  It made my day!  I went out and bought bananas that day.

My great aunt Vivian is my favorite great aunt!  She taught me to tie quilts and she has a cross stitch that says you can eat the crumbs off her floor.  She is also very, very old and had cancer before.  And every time I say good bye to her and see ya later.  She replies, “If I am still alive then.”  Which is super morbid, but some how it is always really funny when she says it.

I need to show the recipes to my parents, because they can decipher it better.  I understand most of the letter and most of the recipes, but there is this cake recipe that I don’t understand at all.  She writes in cursive and the other recipes I can figure out because I have made something similar, but this cake is new to me and I have no clue what I am suppose to do.

I made the banana bread first.  It was super yummy!!  I am so glad I have some of Vivian’s recipes in her hand writing!!  This is my favorite part of cooking.  Sharing recipes, histories and stories.  Cooking connects me to my great aunt and my grandma who has pasted away.  It connects me to centuries of people who have made meals and broke bread together.

Banana Bread

This recipe is from my great aunt Vivian.


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup mashed bananas, I used two bananas
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup orange juice


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Cream shortening and sugar together.  Add the eggs and mix well.  Stir in the bananas and vanilla.

3. In a different bowl sift flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.  Add it alternately to the wet ingredients with the orange juice.

4. Pour in 2 greased loaf pans and bake for 1 hour or until brown on top.  Cool before slicing.

2 thoughts on “Banana Bread

  1. Saw Vivian a few months ago. She always gives me food when I head back and of course it was banana bread with some type of cherry chocolate chips in it. Anyway I was making great time on my drive and decided to just drive all the way through to get home sooner and about five hours into my drive, I got hungry and ate the loaf of banana bread that she had sent with me. I’ve never stopped at Vivian’s without her feeding me and that connection you mention is super cool. Crafts, cooking and laughter is what I think of when I think of Vivian (OH and also cards).

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