LASATA: A return to old comforts

If you have been out to the grocery store during Gov. Whitmer’s shutdown of the state, then you have no doubt noticed empty shelves and shortages of previously abundant items. I have found it odd that packages of Oreos are plentiful, yet bread flour and yeast are nowhere to be found.

But when I think about it more, the less surprising that is to me. During times of uncertainty or distress, people turn to what comforts them. As we are all forcibly gathered in our homes these days, many of those comforts come from the kitchen.

This has been the case for the LaSata family, as I’m sure it has been for countless other southwest Michigan families. For me, spending time with my girls in the kitchen, baking with one another, has been a wonderful bonding experience, and these memories will hopefully outlast that of the virus.

As baking is a shared experience, I wanted to share one of our family’s favorite recipes with southwest Michigan residents. I hope that making our favorite banana cake can bring your family the same joy that it brings ours.

Banana Cake

Cake ingredients:

• 1/4 cup shortening

• 1 and 1/3 cup sugar

• 2 eggs

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

• 1 cup sour cream

• 2 cups flour

• 1 teaspoon baking powder

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 3/4 teaspoon salt

• 2 large, mashed bananas (1 cup)

• 1/2 cup nuts

Frosting ingredients:

• 3/4 stick margarine, browned

• Powdered sugar

• Vanilla

• Milk, if needed

Directions:

• Cream shortening and sugar; add eggs.

• Add dry ingredients; alternate with sour cream but begin and end with dry ingredients.

• Add bananas.

• Put in 9-by-13 pan.

• Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

• Mix frosting ingredients.

• Add frosting to finished cake and enjoy.

The dangers of the coronavirus are very real. While we pray for healing, fewer infections, and to be able to reopen Michigan’s economy safely and smartly, I hope that your family has found solace in this time spent together, whether it has been in the kitchen or in some other enriching way.