You can make lemonade out of lemons and you can make banana bread out of over ripe bananas.
I hate to waste food, especially overripened bananas.
More often than not there is exactly four bananas left that have turned black. It’s a strange coincidence that occurs at our house, considering my banana bread recipe calls for exactly four bananas.
The boys in the house plead the fifth.
“That’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen,” my friend said.
In the warm light of the kitchen, my husband and son sat across from each other at the worn kitchen table. They were eating banana bread fresh from the oven and giggling about something. It was a picture of pure joy.
It was an answered prayer.
“Yeah, there is nothing like banana bread straight from the oven,” I responded.
It was a hot, sticky summer night in the South. My best friend and I sat in the dark on the back porch to avoid attracting the bugs. She had stolen my spot – the bench where I worked out a lot of things with God a couple of summers past. I let her have it. She needed the bench more than me at the time.
I looked at her and wondered how could I be more like her. It had been a tough year for her. She had lost something that I still had and yet she was genuinely happy for me. You could tell by the way she looked through the window.
It seemed like we were swapping bad years back and forth. She had been there for me and it was my turn to reciprocate. So, we sat in silence quite a bit. From my own experience, I realized sometimes quiet is the best advice.
Just being together speaks loudest.
This year, she had lost and I had gained. And that night I had gained something from her. I learned what it looks like to be happy for others despite our own circumstances.
I saw her as a teacher of resilience and compassion.
And I am a better person because of her.
It had been a good day. We had breathed in salt air and increased our Vitamin D. And then we ended it with some warm banana bread.
You learn to soak up the good days. You linger a bit, so those days get you through the bad ones. We lingered a while on the porch.
Before sleep that night, I asked God, “How do I do that?”
“How do I become more like her?”
“How do I look at what someone else has, maybe something I don’t have, and genuinely smile about it?”
“How do I bleed compassion so I become a teacher of it?”
He said, “Banana Bread.”
“You make Banana Bread. You make something sweet out of something rotten.”
(with slight modifications)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
4 bananas, finely crushed (used overripe)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Cream together butter and sugar for at least 2 minutes.
Add eggs and crushed bananas.
Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture.
Add vanilla to the mix.
Grease and flour loaf pan. (I use coconut oil and flour.)
Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. (I lightly place foil over the top of the ban for the first 30 minutes and then take it off for the last 30 minutes.)
Keeps well, refrigerated.
It's the only recipe I ever use.