Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Peachy~Keen Banana Tea Bread & Remembering

This week, I found myself with leftover peach-pie filling I had made to fill some pocket pies I had made earlier.

 On top of that, my hubby informed me that there were two bananas that had, in his opinion, "gone bad."  However, anyone who bakes, knows bananas are at their peak at this point to make bread, muffins, or even pudding and I heard my mother's voice, "waste not, want not," so I couldn't throw either of these leftovers out and decided to come up with a lovely tea bread.

Ten years ago, on this date, I was still in Connecticut when the Towers were destroyed, the Pentagon hit, and Flight 93 was crashed by terrorists.  I remember the day so vividly because usually I would have been at my friend, Gwen's house to stamp and make paper flowers, but I had a class scheduled later and didn't want to be away from the house all day.  Also, my husband had just left for Seattle on September 8th from JFK to start a new job and I was alone.  I never have television on, but for some reason, I turned on Good Morning America to have some "noise" on in the background while I made up, yes...banana bread from "gone bad" bananas my hubby had left me with.  After the first Tower was hit, I called my husband, who was about to go to the gym (it was 6:05 a.m. PST) and then, I telephoned my daughter, Erin, also on the West Coast in Pasadena, California.  She was working offsite with her job there, but would have normally been in downtown New York.  We had two people from our town of Ridgefield that were killed, but we also had a friend, whose sister worked in the second Tower, that made it out, although he didn't know that for several days.  Kelly had a friend, who had just graduated from Colorado State and was there for a job interview and a fellow employee of Erin's, fiance was killed.

I find it coincidental that I am baking banana bread again on this day, but maybe not.   Maybe, it's helping me remember all the people who were tragically lost and their families that were left behind.  Do you remember what you were doing when the Towers were destroyed? 

Peachy-keen Banana Tea Bread
1 cup peach puree
I peeled, pitted and chopped 2 medium peaches.  Place peaches in a small sauce pan with 1/4 cup granulated sugar + 1 tsp. cornstarch, stir well.  Cover the pan, and cook over low heat until peaches release their juices--about 7-10 minutes.  Uncover and cook until mixture thickens.  When cooled, puree the mixture.
Alternatively, you can use:
4 - 2.5 oz. jars of strained Peach baby food

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Spray two 4 1/2" x 8 1/2" loaf pans with a non-stick baking spray.

1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 bananas, peeled and mashed
2 3/4 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 cup Peach puree
2/3 cup chopped dried cherries

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening and sugars together.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and fully incorporate, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between additions.  Add the mashed bananas and flavorings and mix on medium.  The mixture, at this point will look somewhat "curdled"--don't be alarmed.

Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt are incorporated.  DON'T OVER MIX!  Fold in the peach puree and the chopped dried cherries.  

Spoon into the prepared pans.

Bake in the preheated oven, 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick, pierced in the middle, comes out cleanly.  Makes two loaves--one to keep and one to give to a friend : )

Baking for me is about memories, happy or sad, but passing on a legacy to younger generations who will have a personal account of this time in history.  I wish my Dad, who retired from the Navy and fought in World War II and Korea, had still been alive to help me understand this.  It was something us "Baby Boomers" had never experienced and I felt helpless on that day--September 11, 2001.  Today, will be a quiet day of remembrance as I cherish the freedom we enjoy and wish for Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men everywhere.  Enjoy!


  1. Hello Susan, I do remember where i my car on the way to Gwen's house to stamp with our friends. I remember being in the car with the radio on and thinking what's going on I can't find any music to listen to just news. At first I didn't realize what was going on then I heard NYC and started to listen more closely. Got to Gwen's house she had t.v. on so we sat and had cup of tea for a good hour before we composed ourselves to stamp. very sad day.
    stamping sue

  2. I remember I was at work, and a co-worker called and told me what happened. He was watching it on TV. I didn't have access to a TV or radio in my office, but later on in the day, somebody brought a small TV in.