Saturday, October 31, 2009

My Banana Bread Beats Your Banana Bread

I admit it, I bake fabulous banana bread.  And everyone in my neighborhood knows it.  Whenever a new family moves in, I am right there, welcoming them with a loaf in hand, tied with a grosgrain ribbon.  Although this photo is stock, you get the idea.  (My loaves are richer in color however!)

My recipe was passed down to me from my mother who received it from her great aunt.  The original is written in Aunt Lucy's hand on a yellowed piece of paper my mother keeps in her recipe file.  (Now that I think of it, I would like to have it.  I think I'll call Mama today and tell her I want "dibs" on it!) The key is ripe bananas that are so ripe you may be tempted to think they are beyond the point of no return.  But oh, how yummy they make the bread!

The other thing that makes any baking better is this:  a Kitchen Aid Mixer.   I adore my mixer.  I must use it at least once a week.  (Sometimes I even mix the boys' pancakes with it!)   Before I had mine, I never understood what the big deal was.  Now I do.  Batter is creamier.  Confections are lighter.  Eggs are fluffier.  'Nuf said.

But how can you make banana bread like mine?  I'll let you in on a little secret.  See the cookbook in the above picture?  The same recipe my Great, Great Aunt Lucy used has been published in noted cookbook,  Blessed Isle:  Recipes from Pawley's Island compiled by the Episcopal Church Women of All Saints.  I don't know how they got it, except that my mother has perhaps given the recipe out to friends who live or vacation at the Blessed Isle!  My mother tends to make it for a quick beach breakfast, toasted with a little butter spread on the top.  Yum!

Here's the recipe for one loaf:

3 large very ripe bananas
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup of butter, melted
1 1/2 cups of flour
3/4 tsp soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 small package of chopped pecans or walnuts (not in the cookbook, but

  • Mash bananas with a fork.  Blend in sugar, egg, and butter.
  • Add flour, soda, and salt.  Mix well (with your Kitchen Aid!).
  • Add nuts.  Mix well again!
  • Pour batter into greased and foured 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 50 minutes.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Nemesis the Dishwasher

For those who read my last blog post, you probably have figured out that I hate unloading the dishwasher.  I think it stems back to my early childhood when it was the very first household job I was given.  I must have been six or seven.

I can remember being at my family's house at Pawley's Island having a marvelous time laughing and playing with my sister and mother on my mother's king-size bed.  It was such fun!  But then... she dropped the bomb:  "Girls, go unload the dishwasher for Mama.  I am too tired, and you are big girls now.  Now, go!"  Anne Stuart (aged 3 or 4 at the time) and I glumly trudged to the kitchen, where we dragged the fifty-year-old chairs to the cabinets so that we could put away the fifty-year-old dishes from the practically fifty-year-old dishwasher.  It took forever.  It was painful.  It was absurd!  But this became our job, and amazingly, we never broke a glass or dish.

Nowadays I don't unload the dishwasher anymore.  I have this fabulous Bosch model that cleans beautifully, and does little more than hum.  You'd never know it was on!  Doesn't change the fact that I detest unloading it.  I have passed that task to my two sons.  For some reason, they don't seem to have the same disdain I had.  It must be because I tell them that whoever will unload it first gets to choose top or bottom.  And the race is on!  Throw a little competition in any chore and they are hooked!

Have they cracked any of our Tervis Tumblers (however so indestructible) or broken any of my everyday Wedgewood Nantucket Basket dishes?  Not yet... thank goodness!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Things We'd NEVER Admit

My sweet sister, Anne Stuart McMillan, sent me this list. I've taking liberties to edit it a bit. Because... this is my blog!

Nothing is more annoying than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

There is a great need for sarcasm font.

How the h*## are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

I would rather try to carry 10 grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

Was learning cursive really necessary?

LOL has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger. But what would it call it? Hungdom or Bordger? Both sound a little scary.

I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

Bad decisions make really good stories.

Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem....

Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.

There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my blog "rough draft" that I swear I did not make any changes to.

While watching the Olympics, I find myself cheering equally for China and USA. Obviously I am not of Chinese descent, but I am fairly certain that when Chinese athletes don’t win, they are executed.

In my next dream house, I want two dishwashers so I never have to unload one. Just move them from one dishwasher to the other!

I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.

Even under ideal conditions, people still have trouble locating their car keys their purse, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I’d bet everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time.

I wonder if cops ever get really irritated at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit. Oh! Oh! I know that answer!!!

I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

If I looked at the incoming call log on my cell phone, most of the numbers would be from me on my landline trying to locate my cell phone in my house.

I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Coors Lite than Kay.

And finally… We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones.