Over-ripened bananas, bitter dark chocolate , and a sweet, salty, crunchy peanut topping
When I was young, I hated bananas. They are stringy and soft and, at times, off-puttingly sweet. I don't think that any of my sisters ever cared for bananas much either, but for whatever reason, my mom kept buying them. It seemed as though we constantly had a big bunch of uneaten, overripe bananas sitting in our fruit basket. Thinking back on it now, I wonder if my mom knew each time that she purchased bananas that their fate would be to become banana bread. I don't think I know a single person who doesn't like a good banana bread, regardless of their stance on bananas- myself and my sisters included. And we ate a lot of banana bread growing up. Not only did my mother make it often, but every time we visited my Nana, she'd send us home with a loaf or two and a jar of peanut butter. I'm happy to report that I do enjoy bananas now. In fact, I have several banana trees in the yard and harvest dozens upon dozens of little apple bananas every year. But once a banana starts browning, even the slightest, it may as well be banana bread already. Bananas are like peaches or melons, in that if you don't eat it in just the right window of time, they loose all of their best attributes. So I buy my bananas under-ripe and as soon as the body yellows up, I start eating them daily. Somehow last week, the bananas got neglected, and since there are few things more unpleasant to me than eating an over-ripe banana, I knew exactly what I had to do. And as often happens in the kitchen, a simple recipe that I intended to follow (my Nana's) got away from me. Happily, it led me to this creation, which, so far, has only received reviews along the lines of "Oh my god- that banana bread!".
Crispy sweet potato chips smothered with peppers, carrots, and spicy peanut dressing
Lately things have been feeling weird. Up until the past few days I haven't really felt like myself. And although I have a list of reasons about a mile long why, all those reasons are just bits and pieces of the same driving force. Change. All summer long I worked carefully to achieve a delicate balance. I enlisted new routines, I tried many different approaches to working, I reflected and assessed the strengths and weakness of my days... But now things are just different. The morning routine I proudly settled on by the end of summer is no longer applicable to most of my week. My delicate balancing act of priorities has toppled into a giant mess as a slew of new responsibilities and obligations have been tossed into the mix. My initiative to maintain progress on all of the things most important to me has devolved into a simple system of "what do I have to do immediately, what do I have to do really soon, and what have I been putting off for so long that I can actually justify bumping it up on the to do list?". I won't say my summer of seeking balance was all for naught- it was an important exercise. But life isn't like some project were you work really hard, execute your plan, buffer out the imperfections, and presto: Balance! Contentment! Keep that on the shelf for later! Life is fluid and dynamic. It's always changing and you can try to hold on to your plans and schedules and ideals when the tides shift, or you can go with the flow. And this fall, the current is strong, the waves are massive, and after a few frustrated months of stubbornly trying to swim up stream, I just threw my hands up into the air and let the flow of the water do the navigating.
Hi there! I'm Cara- plant ecologist, gardening addict, and whole foods enthusiast. My whole life revolves around plants, including my kitchen. Join me here at LWM each week as I post local, seasonal, plant-based recipes and write about my never ending quest to find balance and tranquility in this crazy little world.