1/4 cup room temp. butter
1 cup sugar
3 med. bananas (extra ripe)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 to l cup chopped walnuts or dates (if desired)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Grease a glass loaf pan with solid shortening and dust with flour to prevent sticking (or use a non-stick pan)
In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork or masher, then add the butter and mash together well. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon just until moistened and blended. Do not over mix or the bread won't rise.
Bake in middle rack at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until knife or pick inserted into the middle, comes out clean.
Cool completely before removing from the pan. Will keep for several days if wrapped well and stored in refrigerator.