Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Food, Comforting Food

Mindy here, and as Harvey raged around us early last week, dumping 23 inches of rain on us here at our camphouse, all I wanted to do was cook. Bake. And since we never lost power, I was able to do just that. But it couldn’t be just any food. We needed comfort food. Homemade chicken noodle soup, beef stew…
Fresh baked bread…

So what do you suppose happened when I realized I had three over-ripe bananas on the counter? 


Usually when I make banana nut bread, I use the recipe in my Betty Crocker Cookbook. But since that’s in storage, I had to find another recipe. Now you all know how much I love cakes with sour cream in them, how moist and delicious they are… So you can imagine how excited I was when I came across a banana nut bread recipe that used sour cream.


Here’s what you’ll need for this delicious version of a classic.

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 overly-ripe bananas, mashed, but still lumpy
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
½ cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cups chopped pecans

Preheat you oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour regular size loaf pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk to flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Set aside.

In a second large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time.
Stir in the mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until moistened,
Then fold in pecans and pour batter into prepared pan.
Set that atop a baking sheet.

Place tray in the oven so that the top of the loaf is in the center of the oven.

Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto cooling rack.
Once cool, or maybe just a little warm, slice and enjoy.
 You can see not only the pecans, but those pieces of banana.

Once again, the sour cream did not disappoint. This has to be my favorite ingredient for adding moistness to baked goods. I love this new recipe and have already decided it will be my go-to from now on. Lord willing, we won’t have any more hurricanes, though.

Hurricane Harvey impacted many people. By now, I’m sure you’ve all seen pictures and video of the devastation in Houston, but I can’t help sharing another perspective. Although we personally emerged from Harvey’s wrath virtually unscathed, many in our small rural community are still suffering from the floods that showed no mercy.

At one point, our little town was cut off to the west, north and south, leaving only one way in and out of town.

Grocery stores and other businesses were forced to close because of the rapidly rising river and delivery trucks were unable to get in to restock the shelves. Mail delivery ceased for a few days because the post office was cut off by flood waters.

And, oh, how they rose, swallowing whatever lay in their path.

Wildlife found themselves trapped.

The scene that really broke my heart was after the rain had stopped. We had ventured away from the camphouse, through the pasture and past the flooded gate area onto the main road that took us down to the interstate. And there, just on the other side of the highway, not more than a quarter mile from our camphouse, was a rescue in process.
While we sat high and dry, just down the road the quiet little hamlet that usually goes unnoticed was completely under water.

Making us realize just how truly blessed we were.

Now we join with others to aid in the recovery process. Praying, delivering food to friends who’ve been displaced, donating cleaning supplies and whatever else is needed in the relief effort. In big cities and small towns alike, the outpouring of support has been overwhelming. People lending a hand to their neighbors. People they may have never met before.


Because we are Texans and we are Texas strong.

Mindy Obenhaus lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, the youngest of her five children and two dogs. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at www.MindyObenhaus.com 


  1. Such sobering pictures and consequences of Mother Nature run amok.... Mindy, thank you for sharing all of this. Up here, we watch and pray and donate but we know that's a pittance for what so many folks, millions of folks, are dealing with.

    Unprecedented.... but if there was a state ever capable of working through something like this, it is Texas. The Lonestar state... although not alone in this.

    1. Ruthy, prayer is never a pittance and there are many folks who are coveting those prayers.

      You know, I've always seen hurricanes and their aftermath on TV, but to see just a snippet of what so many are going through, to witness some of the devastation with my own eyes... It's different. On one hand you're in awe. On the other, you're heartbroken. But when I look at how this storm has brought out the best in people, I can't help thinking that maybe this was the wake up call we needed. Sure we may have different views than our neighbor on some things, but we're all still people capable of feeling pain, whether physical or emotional. And on that we can all agree.

      Harvey may have knocked us down, but we will stand as one.

  2. Mindy, I agree with Ruthy. Such sobering photos. I'm so glad y'all are okay, and glad you're able to reach out and help.

    It's been amazing to watch the strength and spirit of all of you in Texas! Very inspiring.

    1. It truly is inspiring. Missy (see my response to Ruthy). And I have to say that I'm glad I'm here to witness it.

  3. Comfort food! That's definitely what you need in a crisis! And that banana bread recipe looks fabulous. :)

    One thing that I learned to love about Texans when we lived there was their resilience and stubbornness. A Texan may fall, but he'll never stay down.

    We aren't able to give any hands-on help from up here, but we can certainly give money to aid organizations who are on the ground. And our prayers are always with you and your neighbors.

    1. Jan, I think I need to buy more bananas just so they'll go bad and I can make this bread again. It really was fabulous. And I love it with pecans. Some people don't care for the nuts, but I like that added textural thing they give.

      Texans stubborn. Naw. :P.

      They are indeed a prideful people. And while I may never t have been born here, I figure birthing five Texans gives me to right to be an honorary Texan, and that's a label I proudly wear. And keep those prayers coming.

  4. I so agree. I'm cleaning house for some reason while we watch and wait on Hurricane Irma. Why am I cleaning house? I have no idea!!! Nervous energy. And I have a crock pot full of spicy chicken for enchiladas later!!!! Love you and so glad you are safe! Bread sounds wonderful!

    1. LENORA!!!!!! That nasty old Irma appears to be churning her way toward Florida. A Cat 5 now. Makes my head swirl like her winds.

      Praying God will take those winds right out of her sails or send her scurrying north in the Atlantic. But I understand your nervous energy. We need to find something we have control over and food and home is usually it.

      So what time is dinner? I'll bring some fresh bread.

      Stay safe, my shoe-lovI guess Floridian frien-- Wait! Out do have the shoes in a safe place, right?

      Keep me posted, Lenora.

  5. Sobering images for sure and the media is full of them. I've wondered about the small towns and how they are doing since most of the coverage has been on Houston. And it's the aftermath that we need to keep in mind now. Businesses lost as well as homes mean loss of jobs which is going to make rebuilding even harder. And I wonder about school closures and how many libraries were affected -- all the normal things we take for granted most days. And now another hurricane seems to have Florida in its sight lines!

    The banana bread looks delish -- like you, I have a standby recipe (with chocolate chips thrown in) but I think this one sounds pretty inviting too.

    1. Kav, I was talking to a friend of ours who was finally able to get out of Houston after her home flooded and she said they had no idea what they were going to do, that they were completely in limbo because their kids schools were flooded, too, and they were awaiting word on when they'd open again. As for their house, they knew everything downstairs would have to be replaced. After all, there was all kind of matter in that water. Not to mention the were still waiting for the water to recede. However, they didn't have flood insurance. No one in their neighborhood did because it wasn't in a flood plain. And there are so many others with similar stories.

      But like I said, it's not all about Houston. LOTS of small towns, especially those along the rivers were greatly impacted. Our little town was declared a disaster. That pretty much sums it up.

      Chocolate chips, you say? Hmm... Sounds yummy.

  6. I'm glad y'all were safe during and after Harvey. The scenes from Texas are just devastating. On a happier note, I love banana bread and can't wait to try your recipe!