Baltimore is a bit of a mess right now. So much that Johns Hopkins University closed and all of us who were already in lab were instructed to go home. This is a food blog so I don't intend to elaborate more on that situation except by saying that I'm not used to being home during the week! That's why I went to lab this morning actually. We weren't even supposed to report until noon, but I didn't know what to do with myself all day so I figured I would go in early and get some work done. But once my boss called for the third time telling us to go home, I figured I'd just have to find a way to entertain myself for the afternoon!

My first thought was to go for a nice long walk along the water since the weather is finally beautiful, but then I remembered there's a reason why campus was closing haha. So, next choice? BAKE, of course! I had to bake something that I already had all of the ingredients for since I can't go shopping. At first I thought that might be a problem, but then I realized that this is the perfect opportunity to post a recipe for times when you're in a pickle and need a quick, sweet, easy-to-make treat. I've used this for last minute potlucks, snow day treats, you name it!

As long as you usually have bananas on hand, you're probably in good shape to make this recipe. I will say that this bread is the best when you use really old, brown bananas. My mom used to throw bananas into the refrigerator in a ziploc bag once they got past the point that we would eat them, and then bake some banana bread once we had enough bananas stocked up. Honestly, that's the way to do it. Then you don't feel so sad when you realize your bananas have all gotten too ripe between breakfast one day and the next. Just make some banana bread! And then try not to eat the whole loaf as soon as it comes out of the oven... it also makes for great peanut butter sandwiches the next day for lunch!! I know oftentimes people add nuts or chocolate chips to banana bread, and feel free to do so if you'd like... but honestly I think this banana bread is so good that additions bring it down! Crazy right? Adding chocolate makes it worse? Is that a thing? With really great banana bread it is. Try it! I know everyone says they have the best banana bread recipe, but this one is just soooo so moist it's amazing. And the fact that everyone asks me for the recipe and abandons the one they've been using for years just speaks the truth;)

mom's banana bread

2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
6 very ripe bananas (best when they're brown!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream or 1/2 cup milk

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar together using a standing mixer. Add the eggs, bananas, and vanilla and mix to combine well. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add to the banana mixture until thoroughly combined. Then add the sour cream or milk and pour into three prepared bread loaf pans. Bake for 40 minutes or until browned along the edges. Depending on how ripe your bananas were, the center will be more or less cooked. I kind of like it just a little gooey along the center line, but if you want it to be completely done, try baking for closer to 45 minutes.

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