Farm Dads & Simple Banana Snack Cake

By Cristen Clark, Food & Swine

Father and two daughtersI enjoy simple people, much like I do simple recipes. Most of the friends and family I know and interact with on a daily basis are pretty simple people. You’ll find them happiest about their work, watching over crops, caring for livestock, enjoying their family. For me, meeting these people and seeing their love and dedication to faith, family, land and animals is inspiring.

Everyone can reflect and notice the contributions that their dads or father figures provided in their life. Working alongside my dad and having my children get to do the same with their dad and grandpas is something that we do not take for granted. Times were vastly different when our folks and grandparents were growing up. Our culture has changed so much, and they’ve seen it all.

As I was writing this I messaged several farm dads about the legacy they hope to leave their children and grandchildren, and here is what they had to say:

“The main thing I try to teach my kids and grandkids is that if you work hard, good things will come your way. Hard work is what put me in the position I am in today with the ability to have my family work alongside me. There’s no replacement for work ethic. Either you have it or you don’t.”  -an Iowa beef farmer

“My grandkids love sports, but they love to be on the farm too. The personal responsibility they have when they hit the field every day will make them better people. I didn’t have the chance to play sports when I was young, because there was too much work to do.  My grandkids come to the farm and experience what it is like to have animals that depend on you for their comfort and survival. I hope to impart the love and dedication it takes to raise livestock on their little hearts and minds. A part of me believes it will make them better people, parents and friends.” –an Iowa dairy farmer

“If I can teach my grandchildren anything, it would be to slow down and appreciate the little things in life. With their busy schedules containing school, dance lessons, tee ball, baseball, art camp and more, I invite them to “just be” when we are on our farm together. The kids love to come here and unwind, and I find them seeking very basic moments while they are here. To see them wafting the aroma of fresh cut hay or hear their delightful squeals at dusk, as they carefully file through rows of soybeans to catch lightning bugs, is what makes me happiest.” – an Iowa soybean and corn farmer

“If I could let my kids know any one thing, is that I did this for them. I worked hard for them, so they could do what I love to do, if they choose. Working with family is a blessing and so many farms are family farms around here. I hope my kids’ generation can talk to their peers more about what they do, it is something my generation wasn’t the best at. We were all busy working and trying to become better at what we were doing, I suppose.  My daughters and son are constantly inviting people to our farm to show them how things work and what leads us to make our decisions to make our farm more sustainable, our animals happier and gives us the opportunity to farm together into the future. That makes me proud.” – an Iowa pig farmer

Banana snack cakes

Recipes that I treasure most, and that are the most popular on my blog are simple, comforting, typically sweet and have few ingredients. As a kid growing up, my Mom always had a pan of bars, cookies or a snack style cake similar to this one on hand to round out our evening meal. I always say I inherited my Dad’s sweet tooth, because we both enjoy a sweet-ending to our meals. He always lets me know when I’ve created something that he enjoys. He also lets me know if I put too much frosting on something, he prefers a ‘smear’. I, along with every other sane person on the planet prefer a ‘layer’ of frosting. The recipe I’m sharing with you today, is packed with banana flavor, quick to bake and in honor of my Dad this Father’s Day, has no frosting. Good news! This cake doesn’t even need it.

You can find the Banana Snack Cake recipe here.