Miss Party has returned from Maui, Hawaii, and the infamous “Road to Hana”. One must endure endless hours of switchbacks on a road more narrow than Miss Party’s waistline, and survive countless blindman curves –but the rewards more than made up for all that distress! Ancient, lush tropical forests, incomparable coastal views, and oh, so many waterfalls! And let’s not forget about the banana bread! Yes, amazing banana bread!
“Hana Banana Bread” is a delicous recipe from the Hana Maui Botanical Gardens. This very easy recipe has been doubled to make two loaves (one to eat warm (wink), and one to serve) and guests will rave over it! Serve it Maui style; a platter of fanned fruit bread slices surrounded with slices of fresh summer fruit. It makes a beautiful presentation for a breakfast or luncheon with guests, or nice for a (relatively healthy) light summer dessert for a dinner party.
2 1/2 cups of flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
6 small or 3 large VERY RIPE bananas, mashed (*very important they are very ripe, to over-ripe)
1 cup vegetable shortening (don’t substitute butter)
4 fresh eggs
(This particular recipe doesn’t call for nuts mainly because they are aren’t grown locally in Hana. Hana’s location is very remote, with no easy access to grocery supplies. Most home cooks wouldn’t have nuts on hand for this ‘anytime’ recipe. However, for anyone outside of Hana, 1 1/4 cups of walnuts work particularly well in banana bread, if desired.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9 x 5 loaf pans.
1) Sift together flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.
2) Blend mashed bananas, shortening and eggs.
3) Fold flour mix into banana mixture. Don’t over mix, stir just enough to combine mixtures.
4) Divide batter equally between the pans. Thump each pan once to remove air holes. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.
5) Remove loaf pans from oven, slide a knife around perimeter of bread to loosen from pan and remove breads from pans, cool on racks. When cooled, cover with plastic wrap, slice just before serving.
RECIPE CREDIT: Hana Maui Botanical Gardens
Note: You could also divide batter into 4 mini loaf pans if preferred. Easy to make for homemade gifts!
If you ever get the opportunity, take the road less travelled to Hana and stay overnight at Travassa’s Hana Hotel. It’s truly a special place…