Today I’m making banana bread to take to the women’s shelter in downtown Montreal.
I’ve got the recipe for you below, and I’ve also got a way that YOU can give so I can make MORE than the three I’ve got planned for today.
When I first moved to Montreal five and half years ago, I was searching for a local community shelter where I could do some volunteer work and I found “Chez Doris.” It’s a daytime drop-in place, to get off the street and get inside for meals and company. I had a tour and was impressed with the sunny inside spaces, the sewing room, the ‘shop’ where visitors can pick out clothes, kitchenware, and bedding. A doctor is onsite once a week to answer questions and check on regulars. The day I was there, a group of women sat around a giant old TV set, all of them knitting.
After I made my first cash donation, a newsletter came in the mail. It was around Christmas, and there was a section in the newsletter listing non-perishable gifts we could drop off: deodorant, toothpaste, socks, winter coats. And baked goods and desserts. Really. Did they want donations of food?
I called Chez Doris and spoke with a lovely bilingual receptionist, who assured me that yes, in fact, they did want food. “Our kitchen is very busy,” she said. “We provide breakfast and lunch to over 70 women every day. If you want to donate something, please bring enough for 50-70 people to share.”
I was single then, and new to the city, and happy for a project. I dedicated several Friday nights to making banana bread for Chez Doris. They’re easy to make, with only 6 ingredients, and are easy to package in plastic wrap and then tinfoil before I pop them in the freezer. Once I have 3 or 4 loaves, I pack them in the car and deliver them downtown.
The greeting I receive when I show up at the door with a bag of baking is always the same: “Great! We’ll use these this afternoon for prizes in Bingo… We’ll eat these today. These will certainly be appreciated.”
Today’s gift has three parts. First, I’m BAKING three banana breads this afternoon to donate to Chez Doris. Second, I’m including the RECIPE below so that you can make your own banana bread as soon as you have brown bananas.
And third, if you would like to MAKE A DONATION so that I can make more banana breads, I’ve set up a link here. For a teeny tiny donation of $2.85 CDN ($2.80 US) I can make, bake, and deliver one whole banana bread that serves 10.
BANANA BREAD RECIPE
3 medium bananas, very ripe (approx. 375 g)
1/4 cup margarine or butter, softened (75 mL / 57 g)
1 cup white sugar (250 mL / 200 g)
2 large eggs
1½ cups flour (210 g)
1 teaspoon baking soda (5 mL)
Preheat oven to 325°F (190°C / gas mark 5). Peel ripe bananas and place in medium bowl. Beat with electric mixer until completely smooshed.
Soften margarine in microwave at low power in 10 second increments until soft to touch. (Or you can soften at room temperature for 45-95 minutes.)
Add margarine to bananas and beat together. Add sugar and continue to beat until well blended. Add eggs and mix. Add flour and baking soda. Beat for about a minute until ingredients are well combined.
Spray bread pan (8.5” x 4.5”) with non-stick spray, or coat with a bit of butter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth out the top and wipe off any drips.
Bake at 325°F (190°C / gas mark 5) oven for 60 minutes, or until brown on top and cooked inside. You can check for doneness with a wooden skewer, a toothpick, or a thin knife. A few moist crumbs are OK, but you shouldn’t see any uncooked batter when you remove the tester.
If you’d like to make a donation to Chez Doris by contributing to the Banana Bread Fund, click here.
All best and happy Monday