My grandmother, Lillian Marek, was born in 1920. She married my grandfather, Tony Sykora, in February of 1947, and my mother was born in December of that year (Eastern European efficiency at its finest). Grandma passed away in 1998 after fighting mesothelioma, which she probably got from working near an asbestos factory after she finished school. It was around 1940, when nobody knew asbestos could kill you. She was misdiagnosed for a long time (doctors said it was her heart), and by the time they got it right, it was too late.
Grandma refused to give in to her cancer for longer than I thought possible. Her reason? Love for my Grandpa. She said to me, "He needs me to take care of him." And he did, since he had early stage Alzheimer's at that point. The world needs more people like Grandma.
My grandmother was one of my favorite people. Her recipe for banana bread is one of my favorite recipes. With apologies to Grandma, I've added more spice, and changed up the fruit.
Grandma's Banana Bread
2 bananas, mashed
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 t vanilla
1 3/4 c flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t allspice
1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 c chopped pecans
1/2 c dried cranberries
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and spices.
Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
Mix in half the flour, half the banana, the other half of the flour, and the other half of banana.
Pour into greased tins, and bake until done (time depends upon tin size, maybe 45-55 minutes for one large loaf?).