Leslie Robertson was a name I had forgotten. To prompt my memory , I had to look on the back of my recipe card and that made me sad. Feeble brain! Of course, I remembered the man. Just not his name. I work very hard to remember people's names because I know it makes them feel so good. So when I can't bring one up, it makes me sad. When it finally comes to my brain on its own, I usually holler it out loud and laugh because I'm so glad to have remembered it! Do you do that?
We met Mr. Leslie Robertson when we moved into the first home we purchased. He and his wife lived across the street and Mr. Robertson was very kind. I'm sure Mrs. Robertson was kind as well, but I never met her because the Mr. was nursing her through the last stages of her life when we moved in. She battled cancer and he cared for her until her passing in the Fall of 98.
Christmas 98 was one to remember. We looked forward to the holidays so much because Grandma and Grandpa DeRusha were coming to celebrate with us and to make it even more special, they were bringing MY grandmother! We call her Mama Trudy and my children were very excited to see her and be able to spend time with her as well as their own grandparents. Christmas Eve dawned bright with sunshine as I recall and we had snow as well! That was one thing about living in the Rockies: we almost always had a White Christmas. We were working and laughing around the kitchen, getting things ready for Christmas Eve dinner and making preparations as much as possible for the Christmas Day Feast as well, when I heard the doorbell. I opened it to find a lovely white-haired gentleman standing there, tall though a little stooped with arthritis, holding a loaf of very fragrant bread on a paper plate. He offered it to me and said, "Merry Christmas. I just made something for you for Christmas. I hope you like it." I just wanted to cry! This man was still grieving his wife's death, but he made us bread and walked over the snowy street with arthritis to bring it to us.
I took the plate and felt it was still warm from the oven! I thanked him profusely and invited him in. He declined the offer saying he had more loaves baking in the oven for other neighbors so he had to get back. What a thoughtful man. His wife would've been proud.
Of course, I was anxious to see what kind of bread it was. I could tell it was a quick bread instead of a yeast one, and the smell was giving away the hint that it was banana. Yum. One of my favorites—especially with a latte! When I returned to the kitchen, I told Mom and Dad about this man and his wife, and then we had a piece of the best banana bread I've ever had and I've had lots. I buy bananas with the best intentions to eat every one of them fresh, to put them in school lunches, or mix them in my protein shakes, but inevitably I always end up with browning bananas on my counter. What better way to use them but in bread. This recipe has not only bananas, but also blueberries! Lots of antioxidants to counter the carbs!
I share this recipe with you and dare you not to dive into it as soon as you pull it from the oven!
Blueberry Banana Bread (scroll to the bottom for pictures)
- ¼ lb. butter, softened
- ¾ c. brown sugar
- ¾ c. granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ c. buttermilk
- 3 lg. over-ripe bananas, mashed
Mix, then add:
- 3 c. flour
- 1 ½ t. baking soda
- 1 t. cardamom—this ingredient makes a very subtle difference and I wouldn't suggest leaving it out just because it isn't on your spice rack just now!
- ½ t. salt
- ½ c. walnut meats, broken up
- 1-2 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Divide batter between 2 greased and floured loaf pans and sprinkle 4-6 T. of brown sugar down the center of each one.
Bake at 325˚ for 65-70 minutes.
Pictures and notes of the process:
I used a 12 oz. bag of frozen blueberries from Trader Joe's today. They were HUGE! Be careful to only stir your blueberries in: you don't want to end up with purple batter! Or maybe you do. I don't usually put the nuts in it because my oldest has sensitivities to them sometimes. However, she doesn't really like this recipe anyway, so I made it today the way I like it. Besides, I just made Carrot Cake for her and she's just about polished it off all by herself!! (Note to self: put 'blueberry picking' on the summer calendar and freeze your own!)
Here's the brown sugar down the middle of the loaf. I really never measure it. I just spoon it on until it looks good to me! (Neither do I mash the bananas before I add them to the batter. They get mashed in the mixer anyway and I'm doing my part to conserve energy.)
Finished! And yes, cut fresh! I even made another latte to go with it. MmmHmm.
Download Blueberry Banana Bread