Banana Bread

Yesterday, I made banana bread.

I didn’t wake up planning on it, but little projects like unplanned quick bread tend to crop up when I take an in-house Saturday.  In-house Saturdays are not the norm for me.  They generally involve me not leaving the house before one or two and I’m usually still in my jammies right up until I have to put on real clothes to go somewhere.  It should here be noted that “real clothes” on Saturday are usually leggings and a sweatshirt, only slightly domesticated pajamas in their own right, so I’m not sure why I resist.  I think I do it because, as a teacher who’s generally out the door by five ’til seven, I feel like I’m “stickin’ it to the man” when I lounge around in official P.J.’s until noon.

In-house Saturdays, I usually forget to eat breakfast and sometimes lunch, because I’ll brew a giant pot of coffee and dedicate most of the morning to drinking all of it.  It proves that coffee as an appetite suppressant is a real thing.  Also that I can still function when I am literally bouncing off the walls with caffeine.

You will notice I haven’t labelled in-house Saturdays with the culturally traditional descriptor of “lazy,” and this has been intentional.  They aren’t.  The days I stay home usually involves a whole sea of projects that need to get done–not all of them needed to get done right then, but they needed to happen.

Which brings me back to the banana bread, and how I hadn’t been planning on it when I woke up.  I was sitting at my kitchen table, coffee mug and To-Do List in hand (I am a fiend for lists.  I don’t know how teachers survived in the pre-Post-It age), when my gaze fell on my fruit bowl.

I went on a big banana kick for a few weeks, but in the last couple days it’s kind of fizzled out.  A girl can only eat so many bananas.  And they were starting to get super brown and spotty, and I know there are those purists among you who will tell me that that’s when they’re finally “good,” but I’m persnickety about bananas.  I have a very limited banana-consumption window.  Bananas more brown than yellow do not fit through that window.

So I decided that making banana bread probably should be a “thing.”

This would not always have been the case; I am not a quick bread junkie, and even six months ago, I probably would have just left the bananas in the fruit bowl until they were all brown and I began to wonder if it were possible for bananas to actually mold, then tossed them away just to be on the safe side.

This was before the new year, when I read an article entitled “57 Small Things to Do for Yourself This Year” on the (really fabulous, fancy) food blog website Food52.  (You can read the full article here.)  The article gives lots of great, little ways you can enrich your life, but the one that really stuck out to me–and the only one I remember in mid-March–was #48: “Never throw away edible food.”

I took that to heart.  I was really convicted of how wasteful Americans are (and I am, particularly) when it comes to food.  How many times have I thrown away perfectly good leftovers because I wanted the pan for something else?  How many times have things gone bad in my fridge because I didn’t end up with enough time to make the recipe I bought them for?  How many times have bananas gone bad in my fruit bowl because I just didn’t feel like eating any more bananas?

Lots of people all over the world cannot even fathom the abundance that is at our fingertips whenever we walk into a grocery store.  It just struck me as disrespectful to them not to treat this privilege with the respect it deserves.

So I decided to make banana bread.

It has been my personal resolution in 2016 to try use up what I buy.  It means I’ve had to get creative sometimes, and that I go scouring through my cookbooks and the internet trying to find recipes that call for one green pepper or half a bunch of cilantro.  It also means I’ve actively had to chop up veggies I’m not going to use before they go bad and stick them in my freezer in Ziplock bags so I can use them later.  It means being what my yoga teacher would call “mindful.”  It means being what, to my students, I call “responsible.”

So I made banana bread.

I got out a bunch of cookbooks and hunted up the one that called for the most bananas and I still had all the ingredients for.  I mashed up the bananas.  I mixed everything up.  I put it in the oven, then took the finished product when I went to visit my parents yesterday to see my baby brother who is home from college.  The banana bread was a big hit.  I can’t take a picture of it today because it all got eaten.  You can just thing tasty, banana-bread-y thoughts, though.

I know that not wasting things isn’t a big solution.  I know that sometimes, I do just really muck up a new recipe and have to toss it because when I take it for lunch, I opt instead to eat the candy in my desk because I just can’t stomach the thought.  I know that me using my resources well isn’t suddenly going to keep people from starving in Sudan.  But out of respect for them, I get creative.  I try not to abuse the incredible gifts I’ve been given, to respect the abundance that is at my disposal, to try to be responsible.

And so I make banana bread.

Advertisements

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Terje
    Mar 13, 2016 @ 09:46:21

    Your lively slice was both entertaining and environmental. I am a big fan of banana bread.

    Reply

  2. Beth Scanlon
    Mar 13, 2016 @ 11:24:08

    Great reminders! I will check out the 57 Things post…thanks for sharing it.

    Reply

  3. Emily Culbertson
    Mar 13, 2016 @ 15:21:17

    I love how your writing style feels just like we are having a conversation. When I try to write like that, I think I make it confusing because my brain is confusing. So, high fives to you.
    On the banana subject, I hate them. Probably the only food that I won’t eat. Well, that and some awful fruit my sister brought back from Thailand. Anyway, I do encouarge my kids to eat them. When ours go past the point of eat-right-out-of-the-peel stage, we make smoothies (which usually include frozen berries too). Just thought I would give you another option for the future.

    Reply

    • emily1103
      Mar 13, 2016 @ 15:29:58

      Thank you for the compliment! I feel the way you do about writing those ‘deep, meaningful posts,’ like it’s totally put on. I think we have to just write ourselves…and thanks for the thoughts on banana options! 🙂

      Reply

  4. bjdonaldson
    Mar 13, 2016 @ 19:25:47

    What a thoughtful slice and great reminder to me to be mindful of our blessed abundance for most Americans! A great reminder to be less wasteful.

    I like the effective use of repetition between paragraphs with these phrases:
    “So I decided that making banana bread probably should be a ‘thing.’
    So I decided to make banana bread.
    So I made banana bread.
    And so I make banana bread.”

    Reply

  5. mrssurridge
    Mar 13, 2016 @ 21:36:54

    Bananas should only be eaten when they are still very firm and bright yellow. Any brown spots render them banana bread or smoothy worthy. I usually throw them in the freezer the second I notice spots.

    I’m glad your in-house Saturdays are productive–I wish I was more like you, but mine are usually the big L. (lazy)

    Reply

    • emily1103
      Mar 13, 2016 @ 22:08:56

      We all need the unwind time. I have had a few Friday nights more than I’d care to admit spent chain-watching “Murder, She Wrote”… 😉

      Reply

  6. macrush53
    Mar 14, 2016 @ 22:12:33

    In-house Saturday or Sunday…love. We all need these.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: