Y’all, it has been nearly a year since The Traveling Apron Cookbook came out. An entire year!
So much has happened over the course of the last year that sometimes I have to take a moment to take it all in. I have a cookbook, an actual hold in your hands, put a sticky note on it cookbook, that came as a result of swapping recipes with strangers under the premise that if I allowed people to sign up on the blog, I’d send them an empty binder to fill and a pretty apron to wear in exchange for one of their favorite recipes.
We called it the Sisterhood of the Traveling Apron Recipe Swap, similar to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants except there was no need to fit into the same size pants. The apron was one size fits all and anyone was allowed to join in.
20,000 miles that thing traveled. Coast to coast and tons of in betweens, stopping only long enough to gather a new recipe and then head to its next destination.
The absolute best part of the entire process was the relationships and stories that were produced from the swap. I can point to several different recipes in the cookbook and feel deeply connected to the grandmother’s, aunts and mama’s who are responsible for the recipes’ origin.
It is more special to me than I could ever imagined a book to be because of those shared stories. It’s not perfect, the photography isn’t wonderful (I shot it all in about 6 weeks) and there are things I would’ve changed BUT the stories remain and they are truly unique.
Today, I’m sharing Ashely’s Banana Nut Bread as we embark on our next apron swap. I am so excited about where she’s heading, the friendships she will make, and the stories she will hear.
(If you’re interested in participating, the signup will be coming in a newsletter THIS weekend so be sure you’re signed up! She’s limited to 25 participants this time)
“Everyone, and I do mean everyone, has a favorite banana bread recipe, but this recipe from my great-aunt Mercedes is one I always pull out when I need something to serve when company is on the way. Great Aunt Mercedes was slightly allergic to nuts (or so she says) but felt the addition of nuts was necessary in her banana brea, so she insisted on serving it (with the nuts) even though she never indulged. In our family, we actually call it nutty bread, because the thought of her making a bread she’s allergic to and can’t eat, is well, nutty”.
-Ashley Townsend, Missouri
- 3 medium bananas, mashed
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup cooking oil
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch x 5 inch loaf pan and set aside. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients until mixed thoroughly. Pour in the pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 1 hour. Cool on a baking rack before removing and slicing.
I just love Ashley’s story so much! And inevitably her Aunt was not allergic or she wouldn’t even fool with nuts, but I think it’s humorous she would say she’s allergic.
After a long waiting period and much anticipation, the traveling apron sets sail NEXT week.
I can’t wait to see what you ladies will be submitting!