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


• 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.


Niles Community Schools’ remote platform allows students to go at own pace


Dowagiac business donates backpacks, school supplies to students in need


Miss Cassopolis Scholarship Program hosting school supply drive

Berrien County

Berrien County Health department gets blunt on marijuana education, safety

Cass County

Two Dowagiac men sentenced Friday in Cass County Court

Cass County

Cass County works to expand broadband access


Ontwa Township passes 2.25 percent millage increase

Berrien County

Local talent development leader honored by Michigan Works! Association


Cassopolis awards preliminary marijuana licenses


Niles police chief looks forward to continuing work with city, two departments

Cass County

North Pointe Center class partners with church for cemetery cleanup project

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan sees 113,863 cases, 6,623 deaths


Cass County to partake in annual Crop Hunger Walk

Brandywine Education

Performing Arts Workshops launches memorial fundraising campaign


Court of Appeals rules secretary Benson acted lawfully in mailing absentee voter ballot applications to registered voters


SMC welcomes new dean of business, advanced technology


Dowagiac Elks to host annual Guys & Dolls Golf Outing

Cass County

Michigan Works! closes central office, opens three new locations

Berrien County

MSP traffic stop data reveals need for deeper study

Berrien County

Ballard staff member tests positive for COVID-19

Cass County

Two arrested on meth charges in Pokagon Township

Berrien County

Lakeland Heart and Vascular earns testing reaccreditation by IAC


Court of Appeals: Absentee ballot mailers were lawfully distributed


Our Father’s Family Keeper Ministries helps families in need during pandemic