I try my best to eat well while I’m at college. I steam a round of vegetables each week, drink lots of milk, and I bring an apple or orange with me to school most days. I usually only bring apples; oranges take an interminable amount of time to peel and since I usually my lunch in segments during my 10 minutes breaks while running from class to work, that just doesn’t work most of the time.
I used to buy bananas; I ate them every day, with peanut butter, in sandwiches, in yogurt, c’est parfait! One day, however, everything changed. It was like someone flipped the light switch! All of a sudden, I was not eating any of my bananas. Instead, they would either stay in my cupboard, rotting away next to my unopened cans of peas, or worse, they’d get lost in my backpack for 2 or 3 days. That’s a bit of a nasty surprise, let me tell you.
But as a college student, I have an incredibly difficult time throwing any food away.
“If I just cut off the bit of cheese that has mold on it, the rest of it is completely usable!”
“My french toast was only on the ground for a second! And the floor was just swept. Sometime this month.”
To make myself feel better, I’d throw the bananas in the freezer, just like my mom used to, and tell myself that I’ll make it into banana bread later. Weeks of this went by, until finally I realized that I had about 30 bananas in my freezer. I think my roommates were growing concerned. It was then that I began my banana bread tradition. I’m not exaggerating when I say that banana bread has literally held my life together.
Every few weeks, I invite a friend over to make 2 loaves of banana bread with me, one for her and one for me. It takes about 2 hours to make: a perfect amount of time to catch up on each other’s lives and to also make delicious banana bread at the same time! I usually make a loaf on Sundays for myself to snack on at school, occasionally a loaf for my roommates to share, and another loaf when my boyfriend Aaron was pulling an all-nighter before finals week last semester. Aaron even claims that we began dating again last year because I made him a delicious loaf of banana chocolate chip bread as an offering of friendship while we weren’t dating. I also told him at the time about the etymology of the word “companion” that I had just learned in my English Language class. “Companion” literally means “someone you share bread with”. No joke, this bread has some magical influence in my life.
I can make this bread without a recipe now; I know exactly how much Crisco goes in and how many bananas to mash up depending on their size, and I’m a pro at using a whisk instead of an electric mixer (I’ve had some very bad luck with those). In a gesture of love for all of my family and friends who may read this blog, I give you the incomparable Banana Bread recipe, compliments of Mama Bailey. Who knows, it may change your life! It certainly has mine.