One evening last week I dropped by my friend B's house. I found my barefoot and pregnant friend the kitchen, whipping up a loaf of banana bread adapted from the Joy of Cooking. She was substituting gluten-free flours and honey for wheat flour and sugar, and success seemed inevitable - the Joy of Cooking is so reliable and B is a fantastic baker. I had high hopes for this loaf and marveled at my excellently timed visit. As it baked, the house filled with the intoxicating smell of honey and banana and my quick bread-loving heart swooned.
Finally, the timer beeped and B removed the loaf from the oven. Oh my, was it gorgeous! We could hardly wait for it to cool and sunk a knife into its golden, crisp crust. The bread had light and lofty crumb, and our first taste revealed a marvelously sweet and nutty flavor. Even her banana-leery husband devoured it. We polished off half the loaf, and they finished it the next day.
Since then, I have made the bread a few times and have landed on a reliable and inarguably delicious recipe. After it cools, the bread can be sliced very thin and it holds up well to being spread with butter or nut butter. And the best part? It stays moist for days, even when simply stored on the counter wrapped in parchment. While at a picnic this past weekend, my friend April's daughter ate three thick slices, using two of them to make a strawberry and butter sandwich. That's my kind of kid.