Jun. 24, 2015

Banana Bread and Prayer

I realized this morning that I have three bananas sitting in my fruit bowl which are really yucky, brown and squishy. There are times when one is seriously in the mood to make Banana Bread, and then days like today when it’s going to be hot and I really don’t want to turn on the stove but there are those three bananas taunting me. I figure if I’ve got bananas taunting me, you probably do, too, so let’s put on our Good Attitude and utilize our rapidly deteriorating bananas. They’re prone to self-destruct if you simply turn your back on them for a day or so and, as that is exactly what’s happened, let’s not say any ugly words or kick anything, just take a few minutes and make banana bread. We’ll be happy when it smells delicious in about an hour.

Everybody likes banana bread, even small children who hate everything will eat it with a little butter on top. You can make it with nuts or without nuts and it will be delicious either way. If you’re feeling really creative, throw in a handful of dried cranberries, or some chopped apple, maybe some dried chopped apricots. Hey! They’re your bananas. Make yourself happy!

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 cup sugar or just a little less (use half brown and half regular granulated)

2 eggs (egg substitute works great here)

3 to 6 incredibly overripe bananas...don't throw them out, make banana bread!

1 Tb. lemon, lime or orange juice

2 cups flour

1 tsp. soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 Tb. grated lemon, lime or orange peel

1/2 cup or more (if you like nuts) of walnuts or pecans (optional)

Cream butter and sugar together in electric mixer till light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and continue beating. Add bananas one at a time, peel 'em first (duh!). Add lemon juice.

Mix together flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and lemon/lime/orange peel. Blend into butter-sugar-banana mixture. Stir in nuts.

Pour into greased loaf pans...small foil pans, large bread pans, they all taste great.

Bake at 350 degrees, about 30 minutes for small pans or till toothpick inserted in middle is clean, up to 55 minutes for large loaf pans.  If your oven cooks hot, reduce temperature. 

Cool sufficiently so you don't burn yourself and slice off a piece.  Who would have thought that something this good could be made from bananas that look that bad on a day when you’re really not in the mood.

This is kind of like prayer, isn’t it. Sometimes we shuffle into the Creator’s presence, with bedhead and unbrushed teeth, wearing our torn pajamas and say, “OK, Lord, I’m here.” We unroll our mile long list, and as we think of those we love and their needs....their needs, our hearts begin to soften a lot like those bananas, and the faces of those we love come up in our minds. The granddaughter who is rushing heedlessly down the wrong path, the child who is having such a time with tantrums and can’t seem to stop this behavior. The friends who have cancer, who are so precious to us. Tears can’t help but fall. We hold each other’s hands and weep for our family, for our land, for the tragedy that happens daily to other people. We have nowhere to go but to you, Lord. No one whose shoulders are broad enough to carry these burdens. We lay it all before You, day after day. And day after day, we rise, wipe our eyes and know we’ve done all we can for those we love. We’ve trusted them to You.

And then we make banana bread.