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Banana Bread

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Katherine"
To: phaedrus
Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2003 3:31 PM
Subject: banana bread

> Where did banana bread originate?  I have reason to believe that it is from
> Jamaica.

Hello Katherine,

I did find one website with a statement that "banana bread originated in the West Indies". The West Indies, of course, would be the Caribbean, including Jamaica. However that was not a scholarly site, and the writer did not give a source for that statement. I could not find anything stating that banana bread originated in Jamaica.

I'll give the hypothesis a "maybe, but I'm not convinced." The reason is this:

Bananas are native to Southeast Asia and the East Indies, not the New World. They had been eaten in India and Southeast Asia for hundreds of years before America was discovered. Bananas were brought from Southeast Asia to Africa sometime before 1000 A.D., and cultivated bananas were discovered in West Africa by the Portuguese around 1400. The Portuguese took them to the Canary Islands off Africa in 1402, and they became an important crop there. In 1516, a Spanish Missionary brought bananas to Central America. They spread rapidly from there throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean. However, it was not until the 1870s that exportation of bananas from Cuba through New Orleans into the U.S. became commercial.

According to food historian John Mariani, the earliest mention in print of a bread or cake using flour and mashed bananas was in Fannie Farmer's 1896 cookbook.

So, my speculation is that while it is possible that banana bread originated in Jamaica (or elsewhere in the Caribbean or Central America or South America), it's just as possible that it originated in Africa or the Canary Islands and was brought to the New World by colonists or by slaves, and it's also possible that it dates all the way back to India or Southeast Asia. Gosh, it's even possible that it was created by some inventive U.S. housewife between 1870 and 1896.

That said, there are many recipes for banana bread, and the one known as "Jamaican banana bread" may have originated in Jamaica, even if it wasn't the first banana bread recipe. See below for a couple of Jamaican banana bread recipes.


Jamaican Banana Bread

2 tablespoons margarine, softened
2 tablespoons light cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons dark rum or 1/4 teaspoon rum extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/4 cup flaked, sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

Beat margarine and cream cheese at medium speed with electric mixer; add sugar, beating well. 
Add egg; beat well.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir well. Combine banana, milk, rum, 
lime rind, lime juice and vanilla extract; stir well. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture 
alternately with banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition. 
Stir in pecans and coconut. Pour batter into prepared pan; bake for 60 minutes.

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes; remove from pan. Let cool slightly on wire rack.

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons margarine
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons dark rum or 1/8 teaspoon rum extract
2 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted
2 tablespoons flaked, sweetened coconut

Combine brown sugar, margarine, lime juice and rum in saucepan; bring to a simmer. Cook 1 minute; 
stir constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in pecans and coconut; spoon over loaf.
Jamaican Banana Bread
Make sure you use very ripe (almost black) bananas, it really enhances the taste. 

 Preheat over to 375. Coat an 8x4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray; set aside.

2 tbsp. Margarine and 2 tbsp. tub light cream cheese at medium speed of mixer; Add:
1 cup granulated sugar, beating well. Add:
1 large egg; beat well.

2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda 
and 1/8 tsp salt
Stir well, set aside.


1 cup ripe banana (you need 1 cup of mashed mixture)

Mashed bananas with: 1/2 cup skim milk, 2 tbsp dark rum (or 1/4 tsp rum 
extract)1/2 tsp. grated lime rind, 2 tsp. lime juice and 1 tsp. vanilla extract.
Stir well.

Flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with banana mixture, beginning and 
ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition. 

Stir in:
1/4 cup pecans and 1/4 cup coconut

Batter into prepared pan.

at 375 for 60 minutes on middle rack. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove. 
Let cool slightly on wire rack.


1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 2 tsp margarine, 2 tsp lime juice and 2 tsp rum 
(or 1/8 tsp rum extract) in a saucepan; bring to a simmer. Cook 1 minute,
stir constantly.

From heat and stir in 2 tbsp pecans and 2 tbsp. coconut.

Over loaf, allowing glaze to drizzle down sides. Let stand for 1 hour.

Beer Biscuits

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: geneva 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2003 9:27 AM
  Subject: Beer bisquits

  Hello I visited your site and was looking for a reciepe for beer bisquits have you ever 
  heard of them? They are supposed to be really light and fluffy If you have the reciepe 
  I would sure like to have it.  Thanks very much


Hi Geneva,

I found several recipes. See below.


  Beer  Biscuits

   Ingredients : 
   3 slices bacon
   Cooking oil
   2 c. self-rising flour
   2 tsp. sugar
   2/3 c. beer

   Preparation : 
     In a 12-inch heavy, oven-going skillet, cook bacon until crispy,
   drain, reserving drippings.  Add enough oil to the bacon drippings
   to make 1/4 cup; set aside.  Crumble cooked bacon (should have about
   1/4 cup).  In mixing bowl, combine self-rising flour and sugar.  Add
   the bacon drippings and oil mixture and the beer; stir just until
   combined.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead
   10-12 strokes.  Roll or pat dough to a 1/2 inch thickness.  Cut with
   floured 2 1/2 inch cutter.  Arrange in the 12-inch oven-going
   skillet.  Bake in a 450 degree oven about 12 minutes or until golden
   brown.  Makes 10 biscuits.  NOTE:  If you don't have a 12-inch
   heavy, oven-going skillet, fry the bacon slices in a small skillet
   and bake the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet.  
   Beer  Biscuits

   Ingredients : 
   3 tbsp. sugar
   1 c. beer
   3 c. Bisquick

   Preparation : 
     Dissolve sugar with beef.  Add Bisquick and drop in muffin tin
   sprayed with Pam.  Makes about 18.  Bake at 425 degrees.  Tastes
   like yeast rolls.  Keeps well for dinner party.  
   Mom's  Beer  Biscuits

   Ingredients : 
   4 c. flour
   2 tsp. salt
   8 tsp. baking powder
   2/3 c. shortening
   12 oz. can beer, room temperature

   Preparation : 
      Sift flour, salt and baking powder; cut in shortening.  Add beer
   and knead 10 times; roll out 1/2 inch thick.  Use 2 inch cutter and
   bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. 
    Beer  Biscuits

   Ingredients : 
   2 c. Bisquick
   1/2 can beer
   2 tbsp. sugar

   Preparation : 
      Mix Bisquick and sugar well.  Add beer, stir.  Drop by spoonsful
   into greased muffin tin.  Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown. 
   Crusty on the outside, moist on the inside with a wonderful yeast

Bean Dumplings

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Lisa
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2003 10:41 AM
  Subject: Bean Dumplings

 My Grandmother used to make Bean Dumplings.  They were so light and fluffy 
like you would have in chicken and dumplings.  My mom has tried to make them and can't.  
This is one recipe that died with my Grandmother.  I hope you can help.


Hi Lisa,

Are the below recipes like what you mean?


        Butter  Bean  Dumplings

         Ingredients : 
         4 c. speckled butter beans
         2 tsp. sugar
         1 tsp. salt
         1/4 c. vegetable oil
         2 c. all-purpose flour
         1/4 tsp. salt
         1/4 tsp. baking powder

         Preparation : 
           Shell, wash and place beans into boiler and cover with water. 
         Season and cook until tender.  You will need plenty of broth.  Make
         a stiff dough by adding sweet milk to the flour, baking powder and
         salt.  Roll out thin and cut in 1 1/2 inch squares and drop in
         boiling broth.  Simmer about 15 minutes.  Do not stir.  
         Bean  Soup  With  Dumplings

         Ingredients : 
         1 c. navy beans, soaked overnight
         1 qt. water
         1 carrot, cut in sm. pieces
         1 celery stalk, cut up sm.
         1 clove garlic
         2 tbsp. shortening
         4 tbsp. flour
         2 eggs
         1 c. flour
         1 tbsp. water
         Salt to taste

         Preparation : 
            Place water, carrot, celery and garlic together in large pot. 
         Cook on slow heat 1/2 hour.  Place shortening in skillet.  Add 4
         tablespoons flour.  Brown.  Add to soup.  Cook 10 minutes more.  Mix
         eggs, 1 cup flour and 1 tablespoon water together.  Drop 1/2
         teaspoon of mixture at a time in soup.  Cook slowly for 5 minutes
         longer.  Add salt if desired.
         Dumplings  &  Lima  Bean  Soup

         Ingredients : 
         1 c. flour
         1/4 tsp. salt
         2 tbsp. Crisco
         Water (1/4 c. plus or minus!)
         1/2 tsp. baking powder (optional)
         Several slices of fatback
         Lima beans, amount desired

         Preparation : 
           Mix flour, salt, Crisco, water and baking powder.  Roll thin (1/10
         inch) with a rolling pin on floured surface.  Cut in 3 inch squares
         and cook in limas that are boiling for about 8 minutes.  Limas: 
         Boil several slices of fat back for an hour.  Add the beans, some
         salt and pepper to taste and cook until beans are done.  Add the
         dumplings and cook for about 8 minutes.  Remove fat back.  
         Bean  Soup  And  Dumplings

         Ingredients : 
         1 bag white navy beans
         1 sm. can tomato sauce
         1 can whole tomatoes, chopped
         1 med. onion, chopped
         4-5 potatoes, diced
         1 box Bisquick
         Salt & pepper to taste
         Ham or bacon to season

         Preparation : 
            Use large soup pot.  Fill almost full of water.  Add beans,
         tomato sauce, tomatoes, onions and seasoning meat.  Let cook about 4
         hours, then add potatoes.  Let cook about 1 hour.  Make dumplings
         from Bisquick recipe on box. Add dumplings, let cook about 10 to 20
         minutes.  As soup cooks, add water if needed. Stir occasionally. 
         Cook on low to medium heat.


   ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Lee
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2003 9:36 PM
  Subject: recipe search

  My Polish Mom used to make a dish with yellow split peas and sauerkraut.  I've asked 
  the remaining aunts I have, and they don't seem to know it.  She did not write it down, 
  and I'm wondering if there is such a thing, or if it was just something she created...  
  I would love to find out - can you help?

  Thanks - I've already been searching the net for an hour with no luck.

  Lee  @}->-- 

Hello Lee,

Below are the only recipes that I could find that contained those ingredients.



   Ingredients : 
   1 lg. can sauerkraut
   2 tbsp. oil
   1/2 c. split peas
   1 diced potato
   1 c. water

   Preparation : 
      Boil peas and potatoes with water until peas fall apart, 15 to 25
   minutes.  Add more water if needed.  Use hand mixer to puree.  The
   mixture will be paste like. Wash sauerkraut, add to pea and potato
   mixture.  Add oil and water to make a soup like consistency.  Boil
   10 to 15 minutes.  Serve.
   Split  Pea  Soup  With  Sauerkraut  

   Ingredients : 
   3 1/2 lbs. pork neck bones
   8 c. water
   1 c. split peas (cooked)
   2 lbs. sauerkraut (rinsed)
   2 pieces fatback
   1 tbsp. flour
   2 onions (diced)

   Preparation : 
      Place neck bones in water, cook for 1/2 hour and skim top.  Add
   sauerkraut.  Saute onions until slightly brown.  Dice and fry
   fatback.  Add the onions and fatback to the sauerkraut.  Brown the
   flour by adding 1 tablespoon fat.  Add to sauerkraut.  Finally, put
   the cooked split peas into the soup.  Salt, pepper to taste.  Simmer
   for 12 minutes.  
   Sauerkraut  Soup

   Ingredients : 
   1 lb. spare ribs or country ribs (pork)
   1/4 lb. salt pork or ham hock, smoked
   2 qt. water or chicken broth
   1 pkg. yellow split peas (12 oz.)
   1 lg. can sauerkraut
   1 to 2 cubed potatoes
   1 tbsp. flour
   Salt & pepper to taste (may not need
   1 onion, chopped

   Preparation : 
      Cook meat, peas and onions 1 hour.  Remove meat and debone. 
   Drain sauerkraut; add potatoes and kraut to cooked peas and cook
   until tender (20 minutes).  Add flour.  Cook 2 to 3 minutes.  Serve
   with rye bread. 
   Split  Pea  Soup  With  Spareribs  And  Sauerkraut

   Ingredients : 
   1 1/2 lb. spareribs
   1 bag split peas
   4 med. white potatoes (cut up)
   2 lb. bag fresh sauerkraut (rinse
   2 onions (cut up)
   6 gallons of water
   1 tbsp. of salt (optional)

   Preparation : 
      Combine all ingredients except sauerkraut into a large soup pot. 
   Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.  Add sauerkraut and cook for about 10
   more minutes.

   Ingredients : 
   1/2 lb. yellow split peas
   1 lb. spareribs or ham bone, plus 3 c. cubed ham
   Whole onion (take out before adding sauerkraut)
   3 or 4 carrots, shredded
   1/2 head cabbage, shredded
   1/2 can sauerkraut, drained
   Salt & pepper to taste
   1/4 tsp. caraway seeds
   Sour cream (optional)

   Preparation : 
      Cook split peas until soft, using about 2 quarts of water.  Add
   the ham, cubed ham and onion and cook the mixture with the softened
   peas.  Remove the onion and then add the carrots, cabbage,
   sauerkraut, salt, pepper and caraway seeds.  Simmer the mixture
   about 1 1/2 hours or so until peas are tender.  Add more if needed. 
   Serve with dab of sour cream, if desired.  Serves 8 to 10.    

Fried Cornbread

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Marilyn
  To: phaedrus 
  Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2003 8:19 AM
  Subject: fried cornbread

Some good friends took us to a little restaurant in KY, and their food was nothing like 
we get here in the Arizona desert! It has been a year, and I still pass out when I think 
of that meal.

Our Best Restaurant, Smithfield, KY, makes a bread called fried cornbread, and it is to die 
for, especially if you have high cholesterol!
I have tried to duplicate it, and of course, it won't work for me. Could you help me a bit. 
It is sort of like a pancake. They serve it with deep fried pork chops, which also helps the 

Thanks so much, if you are able to help, and even if you don't find it, thanks also.


Hi Marilyn,

Sure, I can help - not with "Our Best Restaurant's" recipe, buit with fried cornbread recipes. I grew up on this stuff. My Mom always made these with her regular cornbread recipe, maybe adding a little more buttermilk to make the batter thinner. She'd just fry them up like pancakes in an iron skillet but with bacon grease instead of butter. There are endless varieties of cornbeard recipes, but the best ones, IMHO, use a mix of cornmeal and flour, use buttermilk, have no sugar in them and usually no egg. See below for some recipes. The first one (without the egg) is closest to my Mom's.


Fried  Cornbread

 Ingredients : 
 1 c. self-rising white cornmeal
 1/4 cup self-rising  flour
 1 tbsp.bacon drippings
 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 c. of buttermilk
 1 egg (optional)

 Preparation : 
   Mix ingredients thoroughly. The batter should be the consistency of pancake
batter. If needed, add a little extra buttermilk.  Pour into a frying pan which has
 1/2 inch of bacon grease in it and fry until brown, turn and brown other  side.  
Slather with butter while still hot.
Fried  Cornbread

 Ingredients : 
 1 c. meal
 1 tbsp. flour
 Dash of salt
 1 to 1 1/2 c. of water

 Preparation : 
   Mix meal flour salt and water.  Pour into a frying pan which has
 1/2 inch of grease in it and fry until brown, turn and brown other side.  
 Fried  Cornbread

 Ingredients : 
 1 c. self rising flour
 2 c. self rising white corn meal
 1 1/2 c. chopped green onions, white
    and green lightly packed
 2 tsp. sugar
 2 1/4 c. cold milk

 Preparation : 
    Mix dry ingredients and onions.  Add cold milk to make a medium
 batter.  Drop 1 tablespoon of batter at a time into hot oil 1/4 inch
 deep in skillet.  Turn only once (as a pancake).  Drain on paper
 towel.  1/2 of recipe will serve 4 to 6 persons. 
 Skillet  Fried  Cornbread

 Ingredients : 
 2 tbsp. oil
 1 c. plain meal
 4 tbsp. self-rising flour
 2 tsp. salt
 1 c. water or milk

 Preparation : 
    In skillet, put oil, on top of stove, on medium high.  Mix
 together all other ingredients, patty or spoon into hot oil and cook
 until brown on both sides. Thinner patties are easier cooked.
 Fried  Cornbread

 Ingredients : 
 1 c. cornmeal
 1 tbsp. baking powder
 1/2 c. plain flour
 Dash of salt
 1 egg
 Little milk

 Preparation : 
    Melt grease in skillet.  Mix all ingredients together.  Pour into
 skillet like pancakes.  Fry until brown.  Turn once to brown other
 Fried  Cornbread

 Ingredients : 
 1 c. meal mix (below)
 2/3 c. buttermilk
 1/2 tsp. salt
 1/8 tsp. soda
 2 tsp. baking powder
 Enough water to make a stiff mixture
Meal Mix:
 2 c. white cornmeal
 2 c. yellow cornmeal
 2 c. plain flour

 Preparation : 
    Drop in hot oil and deep fry until golden brown.  Mix together. 
 Keep in plastic bag in refrigerator or freezer.


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