Yesterday I ran into the food store for bananas in order to bake Chocolate Chip Banana Bread for our new neighbors (recipe follows). A full shopping cart later, I found myself standing at the checkout line, serving as a captive audience to the conversation in the adjacent line.
The cashier, a cute guy in his early twenties, was telling the man he was checking out about a recent date with a girl he was trying to win over. He set up the dinner, the flowers, the surprise – but at the end, she chose another guy. “It won’t be the first time,” the woman ahead of me in line remarked with a chuckle. We laughed at the sweet carefree innocence of youth and quickly realized we were “acting old.”
I shared with her that at a recent event I caught myself referring to the medical residents’ table as the “kids table,” and that I made myself feel old. She told me she planned on fighting the aging process every step of the way, and that in fact she was due for her Botox shots. She explained that when she first started getting shots, she paid by splitting the bill over several credit cards. She didn’t do this to hide it from her husband, but to soften her guilt. Seeing smaller increments on several bills, eased the pain of conceding to her vanity and its monetary equivalent. Apparently, she’s over it now, paying on one card and feeling good about herself. I think she’s right. There is no place for judgment here: She’s not hurting anyone, she’s not stealing from anyone, and if she wants and can afford it, by all means…
The cashier, who was clearly eavesdropping on our conversation, chimed in and gave her two cents as well. She removed her eyeglasses and was demonstrated the surgery she wants to undergo to remove the excess skin under her eyes. Apparently she saw the procedure on “The Doctors,” which in her mind renders it safe and advisable. This launched us into a discussion on plastic surgery versus “harmless” shots and by then several other women perked up and were fully engaged. This mini-medical conference was cut short as we were causing congestion and it was my turn to load up my bags and pay. I walked to my car lamenting that I was running late and really just ran in for bananas. I certainly left with more.
ORLI’S CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA BREAD:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 4 ripe bananas
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 2/3 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla½ bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 6 ozs)
Combine the sugar, butter and eggs. In a separate bowl mash bananas with water. Combine, add all the remaining ingredients except the chocolate chips and mix well until flour is completely integrated. Stir chocolate chips in and pour into a greased (I use non-stick butter flavored spray) loaf pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon (not a must) and bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes depending upon your oven. Loaf should look golden and somewhat firm.
Cool and carefully remove from loaf pan. I place the loaf on a platter, dust with confectioners sugar and garnish with assorted berries and mint leaves.
Sometimes I pour the mixture into miniature loaf pans and plate several smaller loaves on a platter.