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Letters to the Editor: Banana bread is the last thing that deserves criticism in a pandemic

Banana bread
Slices of poppy seed banana bread.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Why is Karen Stabiner so angry about banana bread? Surely there are better targets for her scorn.

Hers is an indefensible argument that relies on false equivalences. Nobody says, “Should I make strawberry shortcake or should I bake banana bread? That’s like saying, “Do I wait in line at Harry’s Berries and spend $14 on two pints of Graviota berries, or do I get this rotting fruit off my counter?”

The point of banana bread is not only ease and near-immediate gratification, but thrift. And not everyone, in these months of sequestration, is looking for a “challenge,” a concept that has given birth to many wrong-headed additions to the basic loaf (chocolate chips, candied pecans, coconut flakes, miso).

More than anything, banana bread (eight ingredients, tops, including salt, baking soda, and baking powder) evokes a simpler, quieter time. Like the one we are learning to live in now, but without the anxiety.

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Laurie Lew, Los Angeles

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To the editor: According to Stabiner, “Banana bread doesn’t measure up.” As another quarantine baker, I protest that there is no one measure that fits all here.

Living alone, with no one else to bake for except a couple of neighbors who are probably just being nice by accepting my offerings, I found myself hankering after banana bread when I came upon some perfectly ripe bananas recently at my local store.

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I hadn’t made one in a long time, but I found a nice-sounding recipe on the web, using butter, eggs, and brown sugar (yum!). After adding some walnuts, which are de rigueur by my measure, I must say the result is totally scrumptious.

This is what I mean by comfort food. By definition, everyone has their own.

Peggy Kamuf, Los Angeles


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