I don't remember how old I was when I started cooking, but I do know what the first thing was that I learned to cook.
Under the careful tutelage of my saintly mother, I opened up the pages of her Betty Crocker cookbook (which will forever have a sacred place on my bookshelf) to the Quick Breads section and the recipe for tea breads.
Knowing that I was something of a scatterbrain and that it was more likely that I would forget to read the recipe for banana nut bread than actually manage to make it right the first time, Mom crossed out the directions that did not apply to banana nut bread and wrote in the measurements for the ingredients I would need to make my bread. So there you go - my first recipe. I entered it into competition at the county fair when I was in the 4-H Toppers, I made it and froze it whenever we had bananas that were on the verge of ... well, rotting - it's even a recipe that I brought with me when I was a junior and college and spent a semester abroad in Malta (although my flat didn't have a bread pan, so I had to use a 9x9 cake pan and make "bars.") This recipe has served me well, even though I'm now marrying into a family who puts maraschino cherries and chocolate chips in their banana bread.
This is probably the best analogy I can make for this bread: She's not the prettiest girl in the bar, but she's the one you'd want to marry.
From Betty Crocker's Cookbook
2 1/2 c. flour
3 T. salad oil
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. milk
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder**
1 c. chopped walnuts
1 tsp. salt
1 c. mashed banana
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour your loaf pan. Smush bananas (takes about 2-3 ripe ones to make about 1 c. of banana) - potato masher works well, hands even better. Measure all ingredients into large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for 1/2 minute, scraping side and bottom of bowl constantly. Pour into loaf pan or pans, depending on what you're doing. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick (or steak knife) inserted in middle of loaf comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
**It is very important to not omit the baking powder - if you do, you will produce loafs that could be used as building materials. No, I am not talking from experience. Or maybe I am. :)
Up Next: Crockpot Lasagna