Favorite cookbooks – Tropical Banana Bread

We all have favorite cookbooks and, as you know, I have more than a few of them. Some of them are cookbooks featuring food from a single restaurant, some of them are a particular kind of food (ethnic, meat, seafood, whatever), others were gifts, several of them I’ve bought because I loved the photographs. This cookbook, however, is none of the above.


The Crisco Fall Harvest Cookbook of somewhere around 1980, is exactly 15 wrinkled, grubby, faded pages and it was free. Here’s the page that counts and, as you can see, it’s had every single ingredient spilt on it.I think I’ve probably made half a dozen of the recipes in this tiny book – but I keep it for one single thing…

Tropical Banana Bread


It’s the best banana bread I’ve ever eaten and I’m a huge fan of banana bread. I probably buy a slice at least once a week, sometimes more often. I think it’s the sour cream that makes this recipe so special, the loaf so moist, the taste so perfect. So here it is.


1/2 cup Crisco shortening (you could use another brand, but because I got the recipe through Crisco, I always buy it as a way of saying thanks)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed banana (2-3 medium)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped nuts (this is optional and, as I don’t like nuts in my banana bread, I don’t use them)


1. Preheat oven to 180F or 350F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
2. Cream Crisco and sugar in large bowl at medium speed of electric mixer until mixed.
3. Add eggs, bananas and sour cream, beating until smooth.
4. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Mix until blended. Stir in nuts, if you want to. Spread in pan.
5. Bake at 180C or 350F for 55 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes then remove. Turn out on wire rack to cool completely.

This also freezes brilliantly and it’s really easy – even if, like me, baking isn’t your favorite form of cooking.



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