I sometimes feel like I’m not paying enough attention to my blog. And when I do, it’s all totally writing related and, frankly, boring. I have every intention of continuing to post flash fics and review books, but I thought rather than struggle to find more writing related topics, I’d include some posts about what I do when I’m not writing or reading.
As I’m sure a lot of you know, I really enjoy cooking. So today I thought I’d share a recipe that I made recently that has some great memories associated with it.
I spent a lot of time at my grandma’s house when I was growing up. She was a good cook and I hung out with her in the kitchen often. I watched her cook and, as I got older, helped her. When I think of my grandma, the recipes that come to mind first are cherry cobbler, German potato salad, and doughnuts from scratch. She used boxed mixes occasionally and I have vivid memories of making chocolate pudding from a box using her old metal hand-cranked beaters. But the majority of her recipes were homemade, written down on recipe cards (or scraps of paper) and covered with splotches from drips and dollops of food.
After she died, I ended up with all of those recipes. I had ambitious plans to scan them all, type them up, and create a recipe book for the family. The recipe book never happened, but I have been trying to organize and save as many family recipes as possible lately.
Unfortunately, there were some recipes that never made it onto a card or even a scrap of paper. One of those recipes was her banana cake. I think the simplicity of the recipe is why she never felt like it needed to be put in writing. But as my dad and I tried to recreate it, it would have been helpful to have as we realized our memories were a little shaky. Did grandma cut her cake in two layers? Or three? We went with three.
The cake is actually more of a shortcake than a cake. It’s quick to make and quite rustic. My grandma used Bisquick, but I find it nearly as easy to mix up a quick shortcake from scratch (it took maybe ten minutes at most). The shortcake recipe is one she and my mom used for strawberry shortcake, but made in a single, giant cake instead of individual ones.
After I baked the shortcake, I layered it with banana, milk, sugar, and nutmeg. Simple, but surprisingly delicious. And it’s even better the second day!
Grandma Brigham’s Banana Shortcake
2 cups flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter
1 cup milk
2 very ripe bananas, sliced
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Cut in chilled butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in milk just until blended. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and pat into a roughly 8-inch circle.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to rest for a few minutes.
Split shortcake into three layers while still warm.
Sprinkle bottom layer lightly with milk and sugar. Top with sliced banana, then sprinkle with nutmeg. Repeat with middle layer. Top with final layer of shortcake and serve.
I searched around online for this recipe but didn’t find anything similar. Is anyone else familiar with a dessert like this? Or was it a recipe my grandma threw together herself when she had too many bananas? I’d be really curious to find out.
Oh, and if you make this, let me know how it turns out! I’d love to know what you think.