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Ardia Herndon’s peanut butter and banana salad recipe has been a family favorite for generations on both sides of her family.
“My husband’s aunt gave it to my grandmother probably seventy years ago. I’ve known it since I was a child,” said Herndon, who grew up in Wakefield but moved to Elk Creek when she married fifty-eight years ago. It was one of her husband’s favorites as a child. When he visited his aunt, he ate enough peanut butter banana salad to make himself sick.
Herndon brings this dish to family gatherings “because my grandchildren wonder where it is if I don’t!” she said. Both her family and her husband’s family expect her to bring it.
The recipe is simple enough that Herndon brought the sauce already made to a recent Bluegrass Basket Guild meeting, and assembled the recipe shortly before the potluck dinner.
Although she often makes traditional family recipes, Herndon also likes finding recipes from the cookbooks that she has collected over the years including some from state fairs, churches and the Homemakers. One of her Homemakers’ books has been used so often that it fell apart and is now kept in a folder.
Her favorite cookbook is one that her daughter made with Herndon’s own recipes. It has Herndon’s picture on it and is titled “Granny’s Cookbook.”
Herndon and her late husband had a dairy farm and grew tobacco. She was kept busy cooking for her family and the work hands. During tobacco cutting, she had ten to twelve men eating at her table each day. One of the favorites was fried chicken and mashed potatoes.
“I enjoy cooking,” said Herndon. “I don’t do a lot of it anymore but I still enjoy it. About one of my favorite things is cooking besides quilting and basket making.”
Herndon has been making baskets since 1982 when she saw someone selling handmade baskets at the World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. She bought one and immediately started looking into where to take classes. Herndon began teaching basket making because there was such a demand after people saw her baskets.
Herndon has taught in twenty-nine Kentucky counties through extension programs, and has taught in her home for years. She was the first president of the Bluegrass Basket Guild, which is now part of the Spencer County Homemakers Association.
“Even though I teach, I can still take classes,” said Herndon, who has taken classes at workshops in Jabez, Kentucky. “I enjoy the teaching. I enjoy the fellowship too, and I’ve gotten so many friends out of it.”
While this recipe is called Peanut Butter Banana Salad, it can be eaten with dinner or as a dessert.
“I’ve been told some people will keep it in the refrigerator and eat it on vanilla ice cream,” said Herndon.
Peanut Butter Banana Salad
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 bunch bananas
Cook water, sugar and peanut butter together over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick. Let sauce cool. Break each banana into three pieces, roll in sauce and place in a bowl. Repeat with the rest of the bananas.
“I like to set the sauce in the fridge and get it real cold so it will stick to the bananas,” said Herndon. The sauce can also be cooled on the counter.
If you have a recipe you would like to share with Spencer Magnet readers, please contact deanna at firstname.lastname@example.org.