This Banana Ginger Bread Loaf is the antidote to all your tired, frantic holiday preparation. Start your morning with this moist, spiced loaf and a cup of coffee and that stack of Christmas wrapping will seem much more manageable, I promise.
This week, little P had one of the worst night’s sleep he’s had in months. Somewhere around 1:30 AM the sound of his vague, troubled yelps entered my consciousness and sucked me back to the land of the living. I dragged myself out of bed and into his room, only to be greeted by an ornery grin and a boy who apparently just wanted some company while he played in his crib for a few hours. If computer keyboards had emojis, I’d be inserting all the eye rolls and angry red faces here.
Parenting takes on a different meaning in the middle of the night. During the day, my child can drive me absolutely bonkers. He can whine. He can cop an attitude. He can repeat the same inappropriate behavior over and over, but at least in the light of day I can still see him. I can take in his sweet face and silly grins, the tender, tiny human-ness of him, even as I stop him from wildly shaking the Christmas tree for the fourth time in an hour. But things look different at 2 AM. In a pitch black nursery, you don’t really see cute. You see a faceless monster who is trying to steal your sleep.
Parenthood messes with all of your most primal instincts. You read books and rock and sing songs and dang it, you even manage to make some convincing airplane noises, all while your body is screaming for sleep. It’s hard. Really hard. But those midnight hours have given me some of my sweetest (albeit a bit hazy) memories. Our last moonlight session ended with him tucked in my arms, rocking on the recliner (a treat he rarely allows these days), with Dixie Chick’s Sweet Dreams crooning softly in the background. I rocked and I cried, heart full of all the overwhelming difficulty and joy of being a parent. In that moment I wanted nothing more than to be curled up in my own bed, but I also knew I wouldn’t trade that time with my baby for all the sleep the world can offer. How is it possible to feel so incredibly annoyed and also ludicrously happy at the very same time? Answer: parenthood, man.
The morning after a wild night, you need coffee and sweet, sultry Banana Ginger Bread. This bread is the love child of a hot affair between banana bread and gingerbread. Thankfully, this baby won’t keep you up at night, but it might cause you to be filled with thoughts of undying love and affection. Honestly, I love my sour cream banana bread, but this is my new favorite. This bread is darker, more complex, more serious. It’s sweet, but not too sweet, spiced but not spicy, and it makes your house smell like Christmas. I like to eat it warm with a smear of butter and a side of quiet that only an episode of Daniel Tiger can bring. This is an incredibly moist bread so it’ll keep for days, and it happens to make a great gift for tired parents, not that I know anything about that. It’s ideal for the holidays, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself craving a slice year round. This bread is good for the soul, no matter the month or season.
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Pinch cloves
- 1 stick (8 Tablespoons, 1/2 cup) butter, melted
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 2 eggs
- 3 Tablespoons milk
- 3 large bananas (about 1 cup), smashed
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar, and molasses until well combined. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Stir in the milk and smashed bananas.
- Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir until no white remains. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or 45-55 minutes.