I love this time of year because autumn means country fairs, and last weekend I returned to the one in my childhood hometown. Without delay I sought out the baking contest barn. I have a soft spot for that corner of the fair because it was the site of an early personal baking triumph. As a teen, my banana bread won first place, an early sign to me that what I did for fun was something I could share with others.
I naturally took a look at my “competition” to see what blue-ribbon banana breads are like these days. From the looks of it, I saw no ground-breaking departures from what my grandmother had taught me. So, after eating my fill of fried food and getting up close and personal with the pigs, goats and hens in the agricultural shed, I headed home with a craving for the well-worn recipe that has become associated with the season.
As I got out my mixing bowls, I wondered how my recipe would fare all these years later. A little over an hour later, as I savored a still-warm slice, I think I can objectively say it’s still a winner.
Eating a donut as big as my head.