Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter

Banana bread and strawberry butter ran hand-in-hand with the $30 salad, at a restaurant we used to eat at in Florida.  Of course, you know the drill if you have been a follower of my posts, either the restaurant doesn’t exit or it is out of my geographical location.  In this case, it is both.

The banana bread would come out in the bread basket served with the menu.  I’m not sure why they even bothered to serve yeast rolls.  You could look across the restaurant tables and see lonely yeast rolls hanging out in those bread baskets.  Obviously, the banana bread smeared with strawberry butter was the preferred choice.

I have two banana bread recipes, but I prefer this one to go with strawberry butter.  The other banana bread recipe has a pretty strong banana and brown sugar flavor that seems to overpower the strawberry butter.  It’s also almost too moist and dense for the addition of any butter.  I say almost because folks still seem to butter it when I carry it somewhere

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Not Your Ordinary Strawberry Shortcake

My grandparents always had a vegetable garden. Not just a backyard garden, I swear they had at least half of an acre. When I was a kid I thought they had a farm instead of a garden. Planting season was a family affair in the spring. My grandparents had 6 children and 14 grandchildren. I recall heated conversations about which tomato plants needed to go in the ground and how many. I don’t know how many ever got planted, I just know there was enough for the entire family to get their fill. No summer meal was complete at anyone’s house without juicy ripe red or yellow tomatoes and hot buttered corn on the cob.

Planting weekend usually ended with a crappie fish fry. Except I don’t recall fish being fried, I remember grills being covered in small fish and the rush to get the little ones to cram pieces of white bread down their throats when they swallowed a bone. That was supposed to make sure no bones poked through their throats. Bless their little hearts.

The best part of their garden was the strawberries they would grow. I could never eat the fresh ones since I would break out into hives whenever I tried to eat them, any strawberry really. But once they had been macerated or frozen I could eat them. Lucky for me, their freezer was always full of frozen strawberries.

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Strawberry Mandarin Orange Salad with Mango Coconut Dressing

We call this $30 salad at our house. My brother-in-law Charlie deemed this a $30 salad.  I think he might have been referring to the cost of the ingredients, but Andy swears it is because they would pay $30 to eat this salad in a restaurant.  This does NOT cost $30 to make.

This is a bright and cheerful addition to any meal.

It’s real name is Strawberry Mandarin Salad with Mango Coconut Dressing.  We used to eat a similar salad, along with the best banana bread and strawberry butter at a restaurant in Venice, Florida.  This is another of those foods we had not seen anywhere else and no recipe existed. So, as usual, I felt compelled to create a recipe that would be similar.  I have been asked to share this recipe most times I have carried it to gatherings or served it at my house to guests.

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