Every child, ever, loves to play with messy materials, the squishier the better! Dough and batter of any sort are wonderfully engaging, nurturing a love of discovery.
In the morning hours, or in the afternoon hours, occasionally (okay, frequently) the children have more energy than mama does. What better way to occupy busy little hands than with a gooey batter which will result in a delicious treat? A brilliant activity which makes everyone involved happy: The making of banana bread with help from your children.
Now, this mama’s cooking skills are iffy at best, so a simple recipe works best for us. I call it:
The Laziest Banana Bread Ever
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then, stir together with your favorite wooden spoon:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
until completely blended. A little flour may puff up and out of the mixing bowl, especially with kids stirring. I use a ridiculously deep bowl, and it still gets everywhere. The enjoyment of mixing and making a bit of a mess may really be the essence of the memory! I always keep a rag handy, though, and have the little ones clean up their inevitable messes right away. Never too early to begin a good habit, right?
Next, mama grates in:
- 3 mushy bananas.
Then the kids stir in:
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of softened butter OR 6 tablespoons of softened coconut oil. Either will be great. So very squishy.
- 1 egg
Mix well, squish, mush, until well combined. Now mix in:
- 1 cup raw sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla, if desired
Now spoon the thick batter into a medium-sized loaf or bar pan, and bake 35 min. or a bit more, until a fork inserted into the center pulls back out without any gooey batter on it.
Distract the children with something away from the oven so you can remove the delicious treat, and the let it cool for a few minutes.
Then when you cut the freshly-made banana bread into soft, aromatic squares, you can all revel in the fact that you made it together! And just like that, a memory is made. It may be evoked later in life by the scent of banana bread baking, the clink of measuring spoons, or morning sunlight streaming in over the kitchen. This small moment will grow through time, maybe into a tradition. The seed is planted, and we’re eating banana bread. And it is good.