I’ve lived with my aunt on and off since high school. It’s the ideal living situation… sometimes. Living with my aunt is sort of like living with a really messy big sister. When we’re home at the same time we’re usually talking about everything and anything. She does this thing where she tells a story but leaves out the major details – usually I already know the major details, so this isn’t a huge deal. I do this thing where I tell a story and go into way too much detail – usually she wants all the details, so this also isn’t a huge deal. We bounce off of each other perfectly, most of the time.
One thing we disconnect on is neatness. I’m, self-admittedly, a bit of a neat freak. I make a habit of cleaning out the refrigerator every Monday night, I make my bed every morning (okay, fine, most mornings), I can’t sit down for dinner until I’ve finished cleaning the mess I made, I clean out and organize my closet for enjoyment… seriously. My aunt is the polar opposite – Our dining room table is forever covered with miscellaneous junk like mail, clothing, hangers, meaningless papers, jewelry, etc. She leaves crumbs and coffee grounds on the kitchen counter. It’ll be a cold day in hell before she cleans the stainless steel appliances.
This drives me insane. It’s a running joke in my family about how OCD I am. It’s also a running joke in my family about how OCD my aunt is not. So for us to peacefully coexist in a space is very surprising. The compromise, and how I keep myself from having a mental breakdown over the newspaper – which I refuse to throw away – that has been sitting on our dining room table for 6 weeks, is that I’ve claimed two rooms in the back of our home all to myself. I also make a habit of cleaning the kitchen every day since I find it both therapeutic and it’s a place where I spend a decent amount of time. I’ve also gotten really good at biting my tongue and breathing deeply.
This past Saturday I had some plans that fell through so naturally I took the opportunity to tidy up my space by purging my rooms of some unneeded belongings and finally storing away all of my winter sweaters. I also made banana bread, the real reason behind this post. This is a pretty basic recipe. But hey, sometimes basic is good.. especially when it comes to baking. Plus, I’ve learned that when you find something that works, you don’t mess with it. Feel free to add chocolate chips, walnuts, coconut, or anything else your heart desires. I coated my banana bread in a thin sugary glaze, just to give it that extra sweetness. I also added dates, which really helped keep this bread super moist. Don’t forget to serve this up with a generous slab of butter.
Makes one loaf
1.5 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup dates, chopped
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (f).
2. Sift together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, mash bananas. Using a wooden spoon stir in sugar, vanilla, eggs, and butter. Add dry ingredients until well combined. Fold in dates.
4. Coat the inside of a bread pan with butter or coconut oil. Pour banana bread mixture in and bake for 45-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
5. Let cool and remove from the bread pan. If glazing, place banana bread on a large piece of parchment or wax paper. Mix together all glaze ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the loaf using a spoon to scoop up and pour over any glaze that has run off the sides. Move to cooling rack and let sit until glaze has hardened.