When I was 10 years old my parents took to me to Disney World for my birthday. On one way too hot afternoon to be in the park, my mother took me for lunch alone in our hotel while my father took my brother down to the pool.
At four years old, my mother and my biological father divorced and not long after, she met and married David Berkowitz. My mother and I then moved from Atlanta to New Jersey where David lived and ran, alongside his father and brother, a multi generational family owned paper company. I never saw my biological father again.
I didn’t know the purpose of this lunch until we sat down at a table tucked away in a corner of the massive restaurant. Its soaring glass ceiling offered a windowed view above our heads to the new monorail that was being constructed in the brand new “Contemporary Hotel” where we were staying. Once seated, my mother started to spill hidden family secrets.
Across the restaurant, a brunch buffet stretched, the expansive table groaning from the weight of all the food. Waffles, pancakes, dishes of crisped bacon, and next to it, a silver chafing dish filled with sliced banana bread. My mother talked, and I ate, her fork stabbed at her Cobb salad while my tanned small fingers reached for piece after piece of that heavenly warmed banana bread scented softly of vanilla and coconut.
My mother made banana bread all the time back at home, but I had never tasted one like this. It was light, cake like and softly tropical in contrast to my mother’s heavier and much sweeter version.
And as I chewed, she told me about another little girl, one who I had never met but would forever be connected to, tethered by genetics, my younger half sister from my biological father, who up until this sweet banana bread lunch I had never known existed.
The steam that rose from the warm bread almost seemed to conjure her into reality, and to this day whenever I taste banana bread I think of a sister whom I’ve never met, but always longed to have and I am taken back to “The Contemporary Hotel,” and to that momentous meeting.
Spilling Secrets Banana Bread
- 1 loaf pan
- 1 whisk, fork, or mixer
- 3/4 cup Almond Flour
- 1/4 cup Coconut Flour
- 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tbsp Potato Starch
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 3 Eggs
- 2 Overly Ripe Bananas
- 1/4 cup Maple Syrup or Honey
- 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips You can also do 1/4 cup chocolate chips and a 1/4 cup coconut flakes.
- Preheat your oven to 350°.
- Line your loaf pan with parchment paper allowing some extra to drape over the sides or grease loaf pan with ghee, butter, or any other neutral oil you have in your pantry (olive oil, coconut oil, etc).
- Using a whisk or fork, blend all dry ingredients together.
- Mix all wet ingredients together.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients together mixing well until all incorporated.
- Add chocolate chips and optional coconut flakes.
- Add batter to loaf pan.
- Bake for 40 minutes and until the top is golden.
- I think this banana bread tastes best served warm, even better warmed in the toaster for a few minutes and slathered with butter or honey.
- Make a hot cup of tea, warm a slice, and find a cozy corner to enjoy.
All illustrations by @courtneycoloring