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  • Maggie Wallem Rowe

A Recipe for World Peace (and feeding hungry Norwegians)

Photo courtesy of Homestead Buttery, Remington, IN

Do you ever think this big, beautiful, contrary world we live in could use just a touch more sweetness?

What if you had just ONE recipe you could go to when you have kids looking for a snack, or a Bible study group needing a bite, or a potluck requesting your contribution and YOU CANNOT THINK OF A THING TO MAKE?

At least something affordable (what with the cost of groceries and all), and healthy (four pieces of fruit!), and universally well-liked (tested in Norway and the US, anyway).

And most of all something that reminds you of the savory smells wafting from your mama’s kitchen?

Mike and I returned late last week from nearly three months of church volunteer work in Norway just in time to welcome weekend guests. What to fix when you’ve nothing on hand but staples and a big ol’ bunch of bananas?

I’ll share the recipe with you in a hot minute. (Make that 350 degrees.)

While living in the church apartment in Norway, we hosted three or four groups each week. The young moms in our Wednesday morning study brought the most amazing spreads, but the Tuesday night men’s group tended to contribute potetgull.

A typical Wednesday morning Bible study spread - Norway

Nothing wrong with that, but my farm-raised, 4H-bred self just cannot consider potato chips a baked good.

The only recipes I had with me were the ones in Life is Sweet, Y’all.

So here’s the one I turned to and made week after week after week: Nana’s BaNana Bread!

Taken from Life is Sweet. Y'all. Tyndale House Publishers, 2022.

Here are a few tips for you home bakers.

- Don’t mash the bananas ahead of time! I did that for years, but if they’re ripe, you can just throw them into the mixer and they’ll break up just fine.

- Do make sure your baking powder and soda are fresh – otherwise your bread won’t rise properly. (If that yellow carton in your cupboard dates back to prehistoric pre-Covid times, throw it out, honey!)

- I like to use four mini-bread pans, but I didn’t have those in Norway so instead I used a long IKEA bread pan. Super easy!

- No need to measure the topping ingredients. Just sprinkle the cinnamon, oatmeal, and brown sugar on in that order. I like dark brown sugar best.

LISY and I have two shindigs this week in my hometown in western North Carolina. Wish y’all could come.

Guess what I’ll be serving?!

Photo provided by Nancie Carmichael


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