Going bananas in Tennessee

By Katherine

Oh caramel how it makes a dessert so much more unhealthy

When I check into a hotel, I make a beeline for the coffee stash and dump the entire contents of the bin in my luggage, even the fake creamer. One never knows when fake creamer will come in handy. Invariably, a guest will ask for decaf after a dinner party and we cobble together a few hotel single servings to make a pot. What? We already have everyday espresso, the good espresso, everyday coffee and the special occasion coffee in our house, we’re supposed to have decaf on hand too? Besides, this is one of the many loveable qualities I picked up from my mother.

I recently drove over to Tennessee and met my parents and one of my younger sisters at a hotel. It was late when I arrived, but I still swiped the coffee before I went to bed. The next morning, mom knocked on my door and handed me a bag filled with the coffee from her room. Before breakfast, she handed me a few bananas from the buffet downstairs. Afterward mom made sure I got another banana, and my sister Rachel did too — for me. The pilfered banana count kept rising; mom handed me two more as we went to the car. To make matters worse she’d made sure everyone grabbed a breakfast grab bag on the way out. Now I like fruit as much as the next gal, but I had seven browning bananas, three slightly bruised apples and a six-hour drive in front of me. I was returning home to a husband who hates bananas. Can. Not. Stand. Them. Neither of us can stand to waste food, so I made a quick batch of banana bread and squirreled the apples away for a cake. Now if only my car would stop smelling like overripe fruit.

Banana Bread

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (3-4 depending on the size)
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce
  • 1 tbsp rum

Grease a loaf pan and set aside. In a large bowl, mix flours, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Make a well in the center. In a smaller bowl, combine bananas, brown sugar and egg. Stir to combine. Slowly stir in melted butter. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. Add pecans and rum and drizzle over the caramel sauce and give another quick stir to combine. Pour into the loaf pan. The batter will be thick. Cook for about 50-60 minutes at 350. Drizzle with additional caramel sauce if desired. Serve warm with hotel decaf.

Note: This post is dedicated to Kristy over at Eat, Play, Love and her endless pursuit of the perfect banana bread.

About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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100 Responses to Going bananas in Tennessee

  1. Sigh. I’m with Greg on this one. Can’t stand bananas, don’t even like having them in the house. But you made me laugh with the story of your mum – my folks are much the same! 🙂

  2. Erin Renee says:

    My boyfriend hates bananas too! What is it with these men? Don’t they know how delicious bananas are, particularly in bread?

  3. Love it! I’m glad we are not the only one’s that do the samething with the fresh fruit and coffee pilfering! 🙂 Your post brought back memmories of our family road trip to Florida.

    You should have added some coffee to your banana bread! Sounded like you had a fantastic trip!

  4. nrhatch says:

    I love bananas (but NOT the smell of overripe bananas in my car) . . . and banana bread . . . and caramel sauce.

    Thanks, Katharine. Here’s to gustatory pleasures!

  5. eva626 says:

    and you couldnt leave out the rum!

    it looks delicious….fruits in desserts are always a delight. (vegies in desserts, not so much)

  6. IamSimplyTia says:

    This looks AMAZING!

  7. That’s hilarious. I thought I used to get quite a lot of the ‘freebies’ but I’ve never made it a united family effort. Love banana cake with a splash of rum in there, I think it makes it. Tell Greg I’ll have his share.

  8. I thought your comment section disappeared, so I never left comments, I just only found it now lol, yummy post!

  9. Such a good thing – and I agree with the caramel addition.

  10. Very funny story – loved it! And I can imagine the stinky car 😦 Weirdly I hate bananas but love banana bread and this looks like a good one. Especially with the caramel!

  11. There are worse things than bananas for your car to smell like – wet dog? Stale french fries?
    I’ll take bananas any day…

  12. Carolyn Chan says:

    What a hilarious story ! And terrific idea to drizzle caramel over the bread. Delicious !

  13. Kelly says:

    Love it! I had two simultaneous thoughts going on when I first looked at your post: Kristy’s pursuit and Greg’s rather firm dislike ;0 — the decaf made me laugh; we too always get caught with some (usually very basic) request we don’t have on hand… hilarious post Katherine.

  14. Eva Taylor says:

    Katherine, you are so funny! I steel the amenities from the bathroom, particularly the shower caps which make excellent covers for food in the refrigerator! I have a box of mini body washes and shampoos for our overnight guests! We usually drink the coffee :p
    Love the banana bread with caramel sauce. And the story of your mum is heartwarming; you are fortunate to still have her!

  15. aFrankAngle says:

    Thanks for reminding me that I haven’t had good banana bread in the house for some time!

  16. Yuri says:

    I hate bananas too! Every time my dad brings them I let them go brown, bake them into bread or cake to give away. I’ve swirled nutella and dulce de leche to make it richer, your version with caramel sauce drizzle looks amazing 🙂

    • Katherine says:

      Oh goodness. I can’t have nutella in the house, I think Greg would come home and see me passed out on the coffee table with an empty jar, a spoon and a smile on my face!

  17. This looks wonderful and I love banana bread. I do the same thing with the coffee in motels!

  18. Karen says:

    I would have been riding with the windows down all the way home. The end result sounds good though.

  19. ceciliag says:

    That is so funny, My mother in law does the same thing, she will wrap up muffins and half eaten doughnuts in napkins and stash them in her bag, Often I will watch her on the train coming back from the Big City, she carefully lowers her little tray, then takes out piece after piece of food in various stages of squashedness, lays them all out on a napkin, roots around in her bag some more and comes out with a fork and then proceeds to eat it ALL.. c

    • Katherine says:

      Ha, I’m not that bad. I still have one of those packaged muffins. I mean isn’t that unnatural that it hasn’t rotted a month later?

  20. Caramel sauce on anything makes it better!

  21. Joanne says:

    You write the most entertaining stories! I’m not a huge fan of bananas, but I do like banana bread and flambeed bananas. This banana bread does look perfect.

  22. Sissi says:

    Hilarious! You are such a great story teller! I love bananas, but I cannot stand the smell of the overripe, brown ones (actually I hate eating them too, I prefer them slightly underripe). I think there is only one food that could smell worse in your car: spilt milk 😉
    The banana bread looks fantastic!

  23. jolynccc says:

    banana bread! omgoodness! one of my faves!! 🙂

  24. Ripening bananas and car interiors doesn’t sound like a good mix, even if you like bananas. But caramel and rum in banana bread? Now THAT sounds truly decadent and delicious! Will have to nab some hotel decaf to go with.

  25. Mama Lisa says:

    Oh, this had me rolling on the floor. My sister (yours too) is away for a couple of weeks and the only things I ever ask her to bring back for me are the hotel “goodies”. I cannot wait to get them! BTW – I have three bananas just waiting to be turned into bread. I even have pecans! Thank you for the recipe.

  26. Awww lol. I think your mom was just looking out for her baby. To tell you the truth.. my mother would do the same thing lol. Love the banana bread.. 🙂

  27. ChgoJohn says:

    It must be something that comes with motherhood. My Mom not only cleared the surrounding area of artificial sweetener and sugar, she brought home tidbits for the dog(s) and even fruit for my parrot. It was wonder that she ate anything at all! Your banana bread looks fantastic, especially with that caramel sauce!

  28. My mouth is watering – the caramel sauce is perfect.

  29. TasteFood says:

    Caramel and rum – now that’s a banana bread.

  30. Kristy says:

    Oh now look at this recipe. Just when i thought I had tried enough banana breads. Hmmm. Now you have me thinking. 😉 Look at that sauce! Thanks for the shout out Katherine! It made me smile. And I love how you empty the decaf and bananas from hotels. Too darn funny!

  31. spicegirlfla says:

    OMG! how funny!! Now did you ever think you’d turn into your mother?? !! I know your dilemma with the coffee, especially around the holidays when more guests are coming over and I’m trying to please everyone!! I will buy a little of everything, just in case. BUT now, I’m just going to hit the hotels where I stay!! If I’m caught, I’m gonna blame it on you! Caramel dripped over banana bread, wow…even a banana hater would love that!!

  32. Banana bread is unbeatable!

  33. egg me on says:

    I’m also always on the look out for a good banana bread recipe. Pecans, rum and caramel sauce is definitely a new take … really kicks those ‘naners up a notch!

  34. niasunset says:

    What a nice writing dear Katherine, I love bananas… I would like to try this cake, Thank you, with my love, nia

  35. I pretty much like all banana bread as is, but the caramel sauce really adds something special. Great idea!

  36. JamieAnne says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who takes the hotel coffee. Heh.

  37. I read this while in bed last night and was definitely drooling…

  38. I usually steer clear of banana foods, but with rum and caramel on top, I’d eat this bread.

  39. This looks like a really good loaf of banana bread! I especially love the sauce!

  40. Charles says:

    I wonder if Kristy will make this one too – It looks like it could be a real contender!

  41. That caramel sauce looks so fantastic. Have not tried it with banana bread. You’re brilliant. I can’t imagine the smell of your car. I love bananas, but yeah, overripe banana smell is not very enticing.

  42. zestybeandog says:

    I love banana bread, I like to freeze really rip bananas and then use those when I make bread 🙂

  43. great use for the bananas! I love them…. banana bread, muffins or cake are some of my favorite things! I love the addition of the caramel sauce here.

  44. Courtney says:

    Oh my goodness, does this sound just like my family! Hilarious!! And I think the caramel is an inspired addition.

  45. Fun post! 🙂 I personally like to snag the mini lotions- ha!

  46. PhobicFoodie says:

    I love that story! The banana bread looks delicious too…I don’t love bananas but warm banana bread is such a treat. The caramel is a great idea too!

  47. Tooo funny, I wondered if they have hotel cameras?? Someone would be having a good chuckle watching your family with their surreptitious fruit:) I once took an apple but was afraid it was part of the “decor”.. Love this recipe and the drizzled topping!

  48. I wish I had this recipe when I had my banana 911 , then 10 pounds of bananas would not have been too bad lol

  49. I love this story partly because it involves Tennessee and bananas which I love. Adore. Eat every day. And I am a lover of banana bread…toasted is my favorite way to eat it….I will try this recipe…definitely.

    • Katherine says:

      I thought of you driving in, seriously. Everywhere I travel now I think, oh this is where so and so lives. Uh oh, I didn’t mean to call you a so and so!

  50. Sophie33 says:

    hahahahahha,…What a funny story!
    I absolutely love banana’s & I love them even more in this tasty & appetizing banana bread!! Oooh yes,…with caramel & pecans! Yummie,…:)

  51. Pingback: Banana Daiquiri for One | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

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