Thursday, August 25, 2016

School Daze


I feel Mary Poppin-ish when I'm at Mommy's house. (But Mary Poppins without her magic bag.) We sing and dance. We play. I write "silly stories" for Little Sister to practice her sight word reading. I just help out wherever I'm needed. To be honest, I do a lot of reading books, playing with little folks, and wiping hands and faces. On my last day here, Little Sister insisted that we do ballet. She and Baby Girl and I sat in the floor and Little Sister led us through her ballet class exercises. It is possible that I will not be able to move today.


I also do the high school pick up in the afternoons. Schools here started three weeks ago. At least the car lines have settled down by now. Mommy gets to skip this for a few days. One less time a day to get the little ones in and out of car seats.

Now that Little Sister is in kindergarten full-time, Mommy is packing lunch for her every day. Big Sister packs her own lunches. Since I was here a little longer than most visits, I baked banana bread for lunch treats. They love this recipe. This time I used 5-inch loaf pans. Small slices will be easier to pack. And 2 or 3 loaves can go into the freezer to stretch out the Mimi-baked goodies. Assuming Baby Girl doesn't get her wish to eat it three times a day.


Pinterest has raised the bar for school lunches these days. More planning for good nutrition. Visually appealing. Both good things. But I'm glad I'm the grandmama and not the mama who is not doing this every day! It looks like it won't be long before Baby Girl can be in charge of baking for school lunches. And I'll be out of a job.

This recipe has been posted here several times before. But it is so good and so easy. Not much more trouble than a mix of some sort (and I do use those sometimes) and you know exactly what is in this. No preservatives. No chemicals with long names. Just five basic ingredients. You'll feel good about sending this in your child's lunch. Or, baking it for yourself. Or, to give to a neighbor. It's really good for breakfast with a cup of coffee.

BANANA BREAD

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups self-rising flour
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat. Alternately add flour and bananas (start and end with the flour.) Stir in nuts if using. Pour into greased 9-inch loaf pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Remove from pan and cool on a rack. Wrap in foil and let the loaf "ripen" for a day before slicing. (Have no clue why this makes it better, but trust me, it does. It is much more moist.)

This can also be baked in smaller pans by adjusting baking time. Keep a close watch to see when it's browned and check with a toothpick.

      Two 8-inch loaf pans—Bake for about 50-55 minutes. 
      Four 5-inch baking pans—Reduce baking time to about 40-45 minutes.



11 comments:

  1. You should wow them with some of the delicious lunches you used to make me!

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    1. You, my child, would eat anything! This is a tougher crowd.

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  2. So what are some of the lunch combinations you used to make? Always looking for tried and true brown bag menus!

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    1. Janie, I'm racking my brain. My pack-the-lunch duties were over years ago.

      I do know that we made sandwiches with interesting breads like marble rye. I packed stir fry leftovers. I did soups and stews in a thermos. Pasta salads. Fruit cups. Ham biscuits.

      Once I packed a hot dog. Put the weiner in hot water in a thermos, then put in a bun and a pack of mustard and ketchup. The most memorable was when I packed a mango half--cut the flesh in a cross hatch pattern so that when you turned the fruit inside out, the squares popped up in individual cubes. (Google for a how-to) That got everyone's attention.

      You have a keep in mind that we lived in a very small town. And the grocery stores didn't sell much beyond the basics. The typical lunch was a sandwich and a bag of chips, so anything past that was "exotic."

      It's funny how much I have forgotten!

      Big Sister took a "cheese plate" last week. A few different cheeses, fruit paste, grapes and crackers.

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    2. I asked Jessica what she remembered. You have to take in to consideration that this was all pre-Pinterest. There are so many ideas floated about these days. But here is what she said..."Fresh mango, turkey cream cheese bagels, sesame chicken slaw something or other, chicken asparagus teriyaki, all sorts of good sandwiches—pumpernickel rye swirl bread. Those are a few I remember!"

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  3. Enjoy your blog! I have a good banana oatmeal cookie recipe that is nice for lunches...if you don't have it I will be glad to share! Beth Miller

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    1. Oh, please do! I don't have that one.

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  4. Oh my!! Good suggestions! My last child who is a senior in high school has asked me to pack his lunch this final year. Of course, I am going to made the best darn lunches possible! Here is a favorite: tortellini pasta salad--a bag of the refrigerated 3 cheese tortellini, can kidney beans, red bell pepper, sliced pepperoni, chopped red onion. Enough Italian salad dressing and salt and pepper to taste. Add and delete ingredients as desired.

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    1. I am no longer in the lunch packing business, but I want to make your salad for us. My high school aged granddaughter loves to take pasta salad for her lunch. I'll make sure her mom sees this recipe.

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  5. Just copied this recipe. I don't have a good banana bread recipe. Thanks!

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    1. Hope you like it, too. Missy, who lives in your neck of the woods, sometimes doubles the recipe. I have done that, too, after she did it. Usually,though, I end up with 3 overripe bananas. But if you have 6 overripe ones, that's a great way to use them up.

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