Okay, technically, this isn’t an Appalachian recipe, it’s southern. But, I grew up with these sandwiches and love them. And hey, if it was good enough for Elvis, it’s good enough for me! Here’s the recipe:
Fried Banana Sandwiches
4 slices bread (I use wheat now, but the best is good ole white bread)
4 Tablespoons butter or margarine
2 teaspoon sugar, divided
oil or butter for frying
Spread 2 slices of bread with butter on one side. Slice banana into 6 slices lengthwise (I half the banana then cut three slices from each half). Place on buttered side of bread. Sprinkle one teaspoon of sugar on banana. Spread butter on second slice of bread for each sandwich, place slice on banana, buttered side down. Place gently in oiled or buttered skillet and fry on medium high heat til brown and sugar is melted well. Makes 2 sandwiches.
It’s tough to decide which recipes to post about but when I think of comfort food, a lot times my mother’s Apple Crunch comes to mind. It’s something I haven’t found a substitute for, no matter how many recipes I’ve tried, so here is the essentials. It’s crunchy, sweet and a bit tangy with the apples. I eat it straight, but you can top it with either whipped cream or ice cream. It’s the best apple dessert I’ve ever had.
3 tart/sweet apples, such as gala apples, peeled and sliced into thin slices
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter or margarine
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
a few sprinkles of water
Melt about 3 Tablespoons of butter and spread on bottom of jelly roll pan (or biscuit pan). Mix butter, sugar and sugar (crumbling butter and dry ingredients until it is crumbly but not lumpy). Spread slices of apples on the pan, top with cinnamon and then sugar/butter combination, sprinkle with water. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, til bubbly and browned. Serve warm. Serves about 8.
My grandfather didn’t cook a lot, at least that I remember. But one thing that he made never failed to lure me to his kitchen. His fried sweet potatoes were and still are a favorite dish of mine. He didn’t make a big deal of his skills, nor did he tell me what he had in the dish. I had to lean over the stove, almost in his way to find out the ingredients and, luckily, horned into his space often enough that I learned the dish and am passing it on to you now. It’s filling, it’s good enough to make a meal on its own, and it’s purely southern and down home. Enjoy!
Fried Sweet Potatoes
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thick slices (about 1/4″ thick)
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
4 Tablespoons of butter or margarine (more optional)
1/8 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar (optional)
Peel and slice the potatoes (the hardest part of the whole thing). Set aside. Put vegetable oil in skillet (iron works best) and then add the butter, let melt. Add sweet potatoes and fry over medium- high heat 3-5 minutes. When potatoes begin to soften, add white sugar (and brown sugar if you prefer) and more butter if the pan is getting dry. Let sugar carmelize on the potatoes. Stir often enough to prevent the potatoes from burning. Remove from heat, enjoy with ham or alone.
Now that I’ve written it down, maybe I didn’t find out exactly what the ingredients are. But, trust me, it’s worth the experimenting!