Monday, March 8, 2010

Go Bananas

Last week's stress-fest of writing, reading, writing, writing, and more writing is complete.  My chapter now has a rough draft!  At the moment that draft roughly resembles what I think a freshman would create in a composition seminar if the assignment was to experiment with stream of consciousness writing, but hey, at least it's a rough draft. That is why I can't write this week on the intersection of food and Dutch culture.  I would love to, really I would, but I didn't experience much outside the walls of our apartment for a while.  I guess that's what happens to grad students working against a deadline.  In fact, last week I subsisted mostly on cookies during the day and big bowls of pasta for dinner while sitting at my desk.  I eat when I'm stressed, and oh my, did I eat a lot of processed food.  By the time Saturday morning rolled around, I was ready for some food that didn't come out of a package and took more than ten minutes in a boiling pot of water to create. 

Regan and I chatted briefly (too briefly) last week during one of the rare moments when her internet was working.  Boo on you, Nigerian internet providers.  She told me she had just made a banana cake, probably from bananas growing in her yard or somewhere equally local and fresh, and it made me hungry for a baked good of my own.  I bet my bananas were not picked ripe from the tree, and I wonder if her bananas looked like this:
The best banana bread comes from overly-ripe, almost trash-can worthy bananas.  I usually don't have too many black bananas sitting around, but when a few go bad, I just stick them in my tiny freezer until the mood strikes me to bake them into something more appetizing.
A nice and simple recipe for a weekend morning.  The loaf pan easily fits in our little oven, and the good smell makes the house feel homey and Midwesterny.  As much as I love this bread, I can't help but look at the old bananas in my freezer with some longing for fresh fruit that isn't citrus and that doesn't require days of shipping to arrive in my kitchen.  I sighed a bit this morning when I woke up to a light dusting of snow on the ground.  Hurry up, spring!
At least spring has arrived at the florist.  Do we have these flowers in America, and if so, does anyone know what they're called?
Regan, I can't wait to see pics of your banana cake.  It sounds so creative and I bet it was delicious!


  1. They're called grape hyacinths and they don't grow in the US. Unless someone has smuggled them in (not a good idea, of course). Hey are you guys from the midwest? Which state?

  2. Alright, I just looked it up and change my answer. They DO grow in the US, but they are not native to the US. I guess they got smuggled in before I could stop it.

  3. Thanks, Sea Legs Girl! They're called blue little grapes in Dutch, and I had never seen them before I moved here. Do you have them in Denmark? I think they're adorable.
    To answer your question, I spent the first part of my childhood in Nebraska and then moved to Indiana for the rest of my youth. Nothing like rebelling against my rural, Midwestern upbringing by up and moving to Europe.
    Regan has ties to Chicago and Kansas. In fact I'm surprised she hasn't made a peep about the Jayhawks all basketball season long.

  4. Ok, now I have to do a post about how amazing the Kansas Jayhawks are and how they're going to win it all this year . . . But first, Diana - I love your pictures with the blue bowl. So beautiful! [Rock chalk Jayhawk, go KU!]

  5. Nebraska Women are 29-0. Go Huskers.