Today is my son’s last day of school in his current class. We have enrolled him for the summer session, but he will be moving up to a different age level and will be with new teachers for the summer and the fall.
For each of his teachers, I have always tried to do something for them for Christmas and for the end of the school year. Usually for Christmas I get them a small gift and/or a Christmas cookie platter for their family. For the end of the school year, I try and make a little something for them to show our appreciation. My mother-in-law is a teacher, so I have seen some of the things that she has received from her students. Usually it is some type of #1 Teacher mug or something like that which is nice, but ends up in the collection of teacher stuff that she has and isn’t really used. I know she has always appreciated gift cards, but I hate to put a dollar amount on our appreciation because we just don’t have the kind of money to spend on two great teachers who deserve so much.
Last week, I decided to make some banana bread out of some of the bananas that we had that were becoming just a tad too ripe for eating. I have a very nice stoneware mini loaf pan from Pampered Chef that I happened upon at Goodwill (purchased for five dollars and still in the box NEVER used!). I made four mini loafs and then stuck three of the loaves in the freezer to be used later in the week. I love using this pan because I always have a couple of small loaves to give to people for those last minute type of gifts. When we are invited to dinner to someone’s house or someone helps us with the kids, it is the perfect size and a great thank you gift to show our generosity.
This morning, I pulled two of these loaves out to be given to our teachers. I made little thank you cards for them and gave them their banana bread this morning. They were very appreciative and it is something I know that they will enjoy (because they both love banana bread!) and it won’t be one of those gifts that is appreciated, but never used!
Here is my recipe for the world’s greatest banana bread. It makes the perfect gift and has been enjoyed by our family over the years! Just double the recipe to make four mini loaves or to make two large loaves.
Heavenly Banana Bread
2 cups all purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. cinnamon
2 1/3 cups mashed overview bananas – usually is about four bananas
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake 60-65 minutes. Allow bread to cool ten minutes in pan and then turn onto wire rack.
**In a mini-loaf pan, I start testing these after they have baked for about fifty minutes**