Bananas are something that are found in many Amish kitchens. While most produce found in Amish homes is grown on site, fruits are a different matter. Traditionally fruits have been harder to come by for the Amish (going back 40 years ago or more) because of lack of accessibility to traditional grocery stores. So it used to be that oranges and bananas were considered rare treats and we often saved for the holidays. Apples, grapes and other fruits that could be grown locally were a different matter, but tropical, citrusy fruits were a rarity for the Amish and still are for the most conservative. But many Amish homemakers have easy access to Kroger or Meijer's vast selection of produce by just hiring a non-Amish driver. And in many settlements, Wal-Mart is an easy buggy ride away.
There was a brief attempt at establishing an Amish community in Honduras (Central America) in the 1960s and early 70s. The Amish in that community did grow their own bananas, oranges, and mangoes. The easy access to tropical fruits did exert an influence on their traditional cooking and baking and when the settlement finally disbanded the Amish moved back to the States and spread some of these new recipes through their communities. This easy 5-minute banana cake recipe may well have its roots there. It was shared with me by an Amish woman in Berne yesterday.
- 1 1 /2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup lard
- 1 /2 cup sour milk
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup mashed bananas
- Mix together all ingredients well.
- Pour into a round cake pan and bake at 350 until toothpick in the middle comes out clean, 30 minutes approx.