I like to think I’m basically financially responsible. Don’t get me wrong, I love shopping and spending money, but it’s not something I do very often anymore for a number of reasons. Our house is small. There’s no room for something new unless I replace it for something old that’s already there. I’m partial to my old things. The older I get, the less ‘stuff’ I want. We don’t have a lot of money to waste-period. Don’t need new stuff, I need my house deep cleaned, windows washed and gift cards.
Over the years I’ve had my downfalls. Started several different collections of cups and saucers, depression glass, Precious Moments, Lennox and lost interest after a few years. Or went clothes shopping and bought a darling top or jeans. The second time I put it on, I realized it made my butt look as wide as a 1936 Chevy. How could I not notice that in the dressing room at the store? (Or better yet, do something about that fat ass?) Dunno. The top/pants/coat/shoes/collection-whatever went to Goodwill and I never felt much guilt about those donations or the loss of moolah.
Most of my mistakes/blunders/bad ideas have been put on the back burner for the last few years. Hope that comes from wisdom during the aging process but I have my doubts. I think it just hit me that I need significantly less in my life. Clutter makes me twitchy.
Which makes for a much less stressful life. Except for bananas. It’s been over 45 years and there has been no change in my banana habits. Am I obsessed with bananas? Am I addicted to bananas? No and no. It would be a stretch to say I eat a dozen bananas-a year. (The few times a year I do indulge in a banana fix, the banana’s got to be perfect. It must be canary yellow, completely free from the colors green and brown and have absolutely no spots or bruises. Gross) But since I learned to bake after a couple of years of marriage, bananas have literally ruled my life like a 3-month-old with colic. I buy them every week or so because it’s a fruit the Hubs eats. He’ll slice one up and plop it on top of Rice Krispies (gag) or just peel and eat one-a-day.
My banana issues begin when Hubs starts lagging behind on his banana-a-day-routine. I’ll be in the living room, reading a book and suddenly catch a whiff of an over ripe banana drifting from the kitchen. (For being a former smoker, my sense of smell is surprisingly keen and accurate). My next trip around the corner confirms my accurate surgically repaired proboscis. Yup, he’s only eaten a couple bananas and the remaining 3 now have as many age spots as my left hand.
I’ve delved into this mysterious conundrum over the years and it just ends up hurting my head so I’ve accepted this small cross I have to bear for the rest of my natural life. I’m simply incapable of throwing over ripe bananas away. Limp salad greens, lunch meat (also sometimes green haha), dry bread, leftovers, soon to be outdated milk, old buns, cake mixes, freezer burnt chicken easily find their way to the trash bag on a weekly basis. Why in the world can I not throw out brown bananas? It’s mere pennies, and I’ve admitted to tossing out much more valuable items without any qualms. I must be missing a gene or something.
This Neese peculiarity reared its ugly head again this week, which presented a whole new set of problems. We’re snowbirding for 2 months and the kitchen in the condo is seriously lacking-well everything. I thought I came prepared. Brought along baking soda and powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, chili powder, Les’ seasoning salt, disposable bakeware, even some of my favorite (highly sought after) recipes. But this barren kitchen resembles living out on the prairie in the late 1800’s and only getting to Walmart twice a year.
On the table yesterday rested 3 sad, mostly brown bananas. Nuts. Scratch that, I didn’t bring any nutmeats with me and haven’t bought any since we arrived. (There were 3 ways to go here, big decision. Banana bread, banana bars or simply THROW THEM AWAY. As if I’m capable of that bizarre notion). I did have flour, sugar, brown sugar, eggs and butter on hand. There were a couple of aluminum loaf pans and I bought a small glass mixing bowl (which is square and makes quite a racket when trying to cream the butter, sugars and eggs. No mixer here either). No vanilla, no Pam spray for the pans (I dipped a paper towel in canola oil) or raw sugar which I use to top the batter in the pans before baking. But these damn bananas were singing their sorry song and I’m a hopeless, helpless puddle of mush (kind of resembling my nemesis before it’s spooned into the mix). My biggest deterrent was not finding measuring spoons. I usually eyeball salt in the palm of my hand but this recipe calls for baking soda and powder, both which need to be kind of precise. Had to wing it with a regular teaspoon.
Soon the condo was filled with the smell of baking banana bread. Nice, comforting, homey. This place is a rental and I wonder how long it’s been since such a wonderful smell permeated throughout? We’re not your typical weekly rental vacation folks. First, because we’re here for 2 months, so for now, this is our home away from home. Although we’re lacking many amenities we have at the homestead, for the most part we’re making due with what’s here. I cook almost every day, so I guess the natural progression would call for me to bake something at some point. Not surprised it was with my faithful, curvy, elongated, brown companions, around weekly for decades, the over ripe banana…