By Shel Zolkewich (@shelzolkewich)
WINNIPEG — My mom makes the best banana bread, hands down. I sometimes regret asking her for the recipe. “Easy,” she said. “It’s in that Carillon cookbook.” And here I spent my childhood thinking it was some secret, cherished recipe brought over from the old country. I would have been crushed, but the simple fact is that this really is the best banana bread recipe around.
The cookbook she refers to was published by the good folks behind Steinbach’s The Carillon weekly newspaper in 1974. That’s why it’s called the Carillon Centennial Cookbook. My mom still uses her copy and I’m in possession of the one that belonged to my Baba Jean. It has her notes in the margins and some additional recipes handwritten on the inside cover. Needless to say, it’s a treasure.
We’ve made a few tweeks over the years. The original calls for shortening, an ingredient that neither my mom nor I stock regularly in our kitchens. We now use canola oil. I believe the reason this recipe is so good is the addition of that half a cup of strong, cold coffee. It adds a caramel richness to the loaf. And it goes great with a hot cup.
Wake-Me-Up Banana Bread
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup canola oil
- 3 mashed bananas
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup cold Green Bean Coffee Imports Prairie Storm
- 1 cup pecans (optional)
Mix all ingredients together until just blended. Spoon into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350F for one hour.