Our neighbourhood has its share of characters — the retired teacher across the street who has a lawn sale every weekend of the summer, the sweet young English family next door who say charming things like “What do you fancy?” and “I saw it on the telly,” and the guitar-plucking students on the corner, to name a few — but there’s one that we’re missing: the Mrs. Johnson.
Mrs. Johnson, the older lady down the block with a heart as big as her porch swing, a smile and a fresh-baked banana bread at the ready for anyone who stops to say hello. She knows all the kids’ names in the neighbourhood and how old and what are their pets and who’s allergic to nuts, and what the grocery store was before it was a grocery store and what it was before that and that.
And she’d give you any recipe and yes of course even the one for her prize-winning banana bread.
If we had a Mrs. Johnson, this would be that.
Mrs. Johnson’s Banana Bread
4 bananas (the riper the better)
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup white or brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease loaf pan.
Mash bananas. Combine with butter, sugar and egg.
In another bowl, stir together dry ingredients.
Add wet to dry and stir ’til just combined. Careful not to overmix.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes.
Let cool before removing from pan.