4 Generations Approve Badertscher Banana Bread

A few weeks ago, I talked to Gloria Badertscher Miller, my husband’s cousin, about her memories of the Badertscher family. She talked about a cookbook with hand written recipes in the back, and about a planned visit to the Kidron-Sonnenberg Heritage Center, where she would obtain some family memoir books for me. And then on June 29, I learned that Gloria had died. But because of her warm spirit and open heart, Gloria will live on with those who knew her. I am so happy to welcome back Ken’s sister Kay who had also recently visited with Gloria, and shares this memory.

By Kay Badertscher Bass

“Don’t touch those ripe bananas,” I exclaimed in a stern tone to my husband. Great plans awaited those black beauties.

Gloria Badertscher Miller

Gloria Badertscher Miller

A rare cool front was predicted for our area of Texas in mid-July with much needed rain. On top of that was the timing of its arrival – a weekend. It was time to bake banana bread using a recipe from my recently deceased cousin, Gloria Badertscher Miller (1927-2013). After all, this recipes has been tested by four generations.

As the skies remained overcast and rain gently began to fall, I reminisced about my last visit with my precious cousin. My heart overflowed with her shared wisdom, humor and family stories. Meanwhile, the house began to fill with the delicious aroma of baking bread.

Gloria received the recipe from her mother, Gertrude Steiner Badertscher (1905-1988). Gertrude was married to Uncle Monroe, my father’s older brother. I always looked forward to visits at their home in Killbuck, Ohio. Uncle Monroe always had a good story to share coupled with his hearty laughter, but it was Aunt Gertrude’s kitchen creations that excited me most.

Gertrude and her daughter Gloria shared a common personality of true ladylike manners, impeccable taste and exceptional culinary skills. At the yearly Badertscher reunions I would eagerly await Gertrude’s and Gloria’s arrivals, taking mental notes of which dishes they prepared and eagerly awaiting my first delicious bite.

During our last visit in Walnut Creek, Ohio,  Gloria shared with me her first cookbook, a thick, dark green vintage cookbook which belonged to her Mother. Gloria began her culinary craftsmanship at the early age of eight by tackling a recipe from that cookbook. A recipe for peanut butter cookies was not the easiest, but with a little help and encouragement from her Mother she was able to mix and conquer.

Badertscher Banana Bread

Gertrude Badertscher and Gloria Miller’s Banana Bread

In the back of the book, among hand-written recipes, was one passed on by Gertrude for banana bread. When she became a mother, living in Millersburg Ohio, Gloria made it for her sons. The banana bread recipe was Gloria’s grandson, John Miller’s, favorite. Four generations–one recipe.

Gloria also shared a little secret related to her banana bread recipe: freeze the bananas. She claimed the freezing process added extra moisture to the recipe. After trying her suggestion, I must concur.

Because John does not like nuts she would omit them from the recipe. I’ve made the bread with and without nuts and it is delicious either way.

Gertrude’s Banana Bread

Gertrude’s Banana Bread
Recipe Type: Bread
Cuisine: American
Author: Kay Badertscher Bass
Badertscher Family Banana Bread enjoyed by four generations
  • 3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts – optional
  1. Mix all of the above ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake in a slow oven (325 degrees F.) for 1 hour or until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
A side note from the author: I’ve always held to the philosophy that all things taste better with chocolate. I suggest adding 1/3 cup chocolate chips to the above recipe, stirring them into the batter at the last minute before baking.


 Thanks, Kay, for sharing this family recipe and your memories of Gloria.

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17 thoughts on “4 Generations Approve Badertscher Banana Bread

      1. Avatar photoVera Marie Badertscher

        Kay, I freeze leftover bananas and then whirl them with my wand food processor with nothing added to make a delicious frozen dessert. In that case, I slice them first. Occurs to me, I could use those frozen bananas in the next banana bread. But do you let them thaw slightly, or entirely before mixing them into the batter?

  1. Char Kellogg

    I was honored to call sweet Gloria my friend, mentor and sister in Christ. I saw Gloria last in the dentist’s waiting room in early June and we made plans to get together after I returned from a family trip in mid-July. My heart was broken when my husband told me she had died. You described Gloria well…wise, funny, classy, good-humored, gracious and talented. She was all this and more. I miss you, my friend.

    1. Kay Badertscher Bass

      Thank you, Char, for your kind post. Yes, Gloria is leaving a mighty large void in the lives of many who loved her and will be missed.

  2. Brette Sember

    This is very similar to my grandma’s recipe which I use all the time. It’s my go-to for rotten bananas. My husband’s mother always made banana bread in a tin can. And then put cream cheese on it. I still find that to be weird.

    1. Sandy Miller

      Thank you sooo much for posting this recipe of my dear cousin Gloria!! I spoke with her a week before she passed and we made plans for dinner and an overnight together. Oh how I miss her!! She was always there for me….a dear friend, sister in Christ,mentor, 2nd mother………….. I am so blessed to have had her in my life!!!

      1. Kay Badertscher Bass

        Hi, Sandy. I definitely recall Gloria speaking very highly of you and the friendship you shared. Please forgive me, but I’ve forgotten your Mother’s first name. I recall visiting her at Walnut Hills when my Mother lived there. She had such a lovely smile and always made me feel very special when we chatted.

  3. merr

    I love banana bread, but don’t know that I have ever made it. The finished product looks amazing here.

  4. Alexandra

    It is fascinating to me how very many different recipes there are for banana bread. I will try yours. (I live in the town where bananas were first imported by one Captain Baker.)

    1. Kay Badertscher Bass

      Thank you for your kind comments, Alexandra, merr and Brette. I am particularly fascinated by the fact bananas were first imported by one Captain Baker.

  5. Jane Boursaw

    Freezing the bananas! Who knew?! That sounds like a great recipe, and if 4 generations approve it, that’s all I need to know.

    And love your recipe format, Vera.

  6. Kay Badertscher Bass

    Thank you, Jane. I know Vera will appreciate your nice comment about the recipe format also. 🙂


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