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When Life Drives You Bananas

Remember the writing assignment your teachers gave you at the beginning of each school year? The one that began with, “What I did on summer vacation”?

In the spirit of self-education, I decided to pen some thoughts on “Things I Have Learned in Self Isolation.”

  • I have learned that life in the slow lane is best. We are connecting more with family and friends.

  • I have learned that home-cooked meals, served around the table with eye contact and conversation, are lots more satisfying than gobbling down fast food in the car as we dash to the next activity.

  • I have re-learned the joy of reading for pleasure instead of information.

  • I have learned that recreational shopping, while therapeutic for some, takes bites out of the budget, and we can do without the doo-dads that clutter our lives.

  • I have been amazed at the resiliency of the human spirit. The people in our neighborhood are getting outside more and coming up with creative ways to exercise. We are all a bit friendlier than we were before we were immersed in our private bubbles.

  • Our little dog seems quite contented, now that we spend more time sitting on the couch reading books, while he snuggles alongside.

  • And lastly, I have learned that God can use our isolation to remind us to stop and think about things that really matter.

And now for a bonus, I’m including a recipe which has wowed everyone I’ve ever served it to. It came from an Amish cookbook, so I’m free to use it without copyright restrictions. This bread makes a wonderful snack-- but it doesn’t last long at our house. What a creative way to use those over-ripe bananas!

Best Banana Bread

5 Tablespoons butter 1 ¾ cups flour

½ cup white sugar 1 tsp. baking soda

½ cup brown sugar ½ tsp. salt

2 eggs ¼ tsp. baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla ½ cup heavy cream.

1 ½ cups ripe, mashed bananas ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)

Beat butter until light, add sugars and beat well. Add eggs and vanilla, beat. Add bananas, beat. Combine dry ingredients and add alternately with cream, beating after each addition. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 45 to 60 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

This is very moist. The recipe will yield one large loaf or two smaller ones. Hint: I freeze bananas when they turn brown, then thaw and use them for baking. The riper they are, the sweeter the bread. It takes about three large bananas for this recipe. Since you use only ½ cup heavy cream, you can take out what you want and freeze the rest to use next time.

What about you? Have you discovered any new insights from being isolated? Or have a recipe to share? We would enjoy your comments below.

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