For days he studied the ever ripening bananas on the kitchen counter, often times encouraging (arm twisting) the 3 women currently residing with him to have one. Eat a banana he would say whenever anyone mentioned hunger. But his words fell on deaf (literally) ears and the little banana bunch continued along on its journey to decay.
Finally, one evening at dinner he proclaimed that these bananas would not be sent to the trash can. Not this time. He was going to make banana bread. For those of you who don't know my husband, these words were not a statement of intent. Rather these were words chosen to goad someone (anyone) into doing the job he wanted done. It has taken me 36 and 1/2 years to learn this. Call me slow but I get it and I wasn't biting. Neither did the other two ladies of the house. After several such pronouncements he found himself backed into a corner. A corner blocked by 4 quickly blackening bananas. This was a dilemma and there was nothing left for him to do except begin perusing our collection of cook books in search of the perfect banana bread recipe.
Bubba's help was solicited. She's a rather easy mark and soon found herself reading the recipe aloud to our new resident baker.
Shortly thereafter she was spotted busily chopping pecans (there were no walnuts in the pantry, only a small bag of pecans, remnants from a previous attempt at domesticity on my part) and wondering how she became so heavily involved in the project.
She is also going to hate me for this photograph, but she'll get over it. After 36 and 1/2 years I have learned that she too can be ignored on occasion!
Bananas were smashed. The remaining ingredients were mixed, stirred, whipped (remember this) and folded before being poured into the loaf pan and placed in the oven with care.
The timer was set for the required amount of baking time and the master baker relaxed with a glass of vino while his masterpiece completed its journey. Soon the house was filled with the soothing aroma of baking bananas and our mouths began to water in anticipation of the culinary delight.
With 5 minutes remaining on the timer the baker's curiosity got the better of him and he rose to check on the progress of his masterpiece. As he peeked in the oven he proclaimed it was nearly done and was bubbling away. Bubbling? Banana Bread? With only 5 minutes left on the timer? There must be some mistake.
The women quickly scurried to the kitchen, suddenly interested in the project. We four gathered at the oven door and stared in complete amazement at the site before us. Where was the rounded loaf of lightly browned, sweet smelling bread? The one prepared and placed in the oven with such care a mere 45 minutes before? In its place we found this.
A soupy, gooey pan of blackened banana mush. Something went terribly wrong and it didn't take long for the finger pointing and over analyzation of the process to begin. The first clue was the outdated baking powder. (I believe 2002 was more than a few months ago as was my last attempt at cleaning the kitchen cabinets.) Some thought it was the use of pecans in lieu of walnuts that caused the blackened mess, others the overly ripe bananas. There was one school of thought that deemed the whipping of the bananas into a liquid frenzy as the culprit but mostly we were all just baffled by the blackened goo.
Whatever the cause, one thing was certain, there would be no mouth watering sweet treat on this evening unless someone made a run to Publix.