Browned Butter Banana Bread – Inspired by “Jaime & Diana’s Diner”

One of my sisters became my business partner in a very popular and bustling establishment.

Not in real life, but in the pretend world we created in childhood.  We’ve all created these worlds as kids.

Our fantasy business partnership as children was a restaurant called, “Jaime & Diane’s Diner”.  Between 9 and 12-years-old, we were entrepreneurs dealing with pretend customers, problems with staff, cooking for a bunch of people, burning food for a bunch of people and, of course, doing the dishes.

The “diner” was usually in full swing pretty much every night after supper.

Before we established the diner, this was the time we’d regularly fight about who was going to wash and who was going to dry – but after we ‘opened the business’, and were pretending to care for and feed people, the notorious childhood arguments magically ceased.

Our business even had a competitor – another pretend diner that was located at our neighbor’s house across the street. We could see the house from the kitchen window.  (Of course, our restaurant was far more successful and had much better food.)

Raw Banana Bread

Add slices of banana before placing in the oven.

At this point in the story, you’re probably wondering where the proprietors’ names originated from. The diner was named in honor of or two idols at the time.  Jaime Sommers (The Bionic Woman) – who had amplified hearing in her right ear, a greatly strengthened right arm, and stronger and enhanced legs which enable her to run at speeds exceeding 60 miles per hour.

And Diana Prince (Wonder Woman) – who was able to communicate telepathically, and was a heroine that fought for justice, love, peace, and gender equality.

Looking at the characteristics of these two women, it seems that (combined) they’d probably make the perfect innkeeper.

1977 Bananas Magazine #11 – THE BIONIC WOMAN vs. WONDER WOMAN

Now, flash forward a few decades to my real world of hospitality. These days, I am truly interacting and feeding guests, dealing with employees and competitors, and taking care of problems and other people every single day. Looking back, it seems my sister and I were not only establishing some strange precursor into the transition of adulthood and the working world, but we were also solving future problems.

Maybe my prior pretend business life and subtle superhero influences were quietly speaking to me telling me what I should be, could be, or would be later on in my life.

Bananas & sugar caramelized on top when bread comes out of the oven.

Bananas & sugar caramelized on top when bread comes out of the oven.

Recipe: BROWNED BUTTER BANANA BREAD

What you will need:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 5 ripe brown bananas
  • 1/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup + 1 Tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to simmer
  2. Continue to constantly until butter is browned, about 10 minutes. Use a pan with a light-colored bottom so you can keep track of the color. Swirl the pan occasionally to be sure the butter is cooking evenly
  3. Set butter aside to cool
  4. Preheat oven to 350 and generously grease a loaf pan
  5. Mash 4 bananas in a large bowl
  6. Stir in brown sugar, ¼ cup white sugar, egg, vanilla extract, and 1/3 cup brown butter
  7. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg together
  8. Fold flour mixture into banana mixture just until all ingredients are moistened
  9. Pour into prepared pan
  10. Slice remaining banana and line along sides of bread and sprinkle remaining white sugar over top
  11. Bake 45 minutes

Tip from the New England Innkeeper:

As the butter melts, it will begin to foam. The color will progress from lemony-yellow to golden-tan to, finally, a toasty-brown. Once you smell that nutty aroma, take the pan off the heat to cool.

Interesting Fact:
Bananas have higher levels of antioxidants as they ripen. Bananas produce a substance called TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor). This means that ripe bananas have anti-cancer qualities as they combat abnormal cells.  The more dark patches a banana has, the higher its immunity enhancement quality will be.