Featured Kitchen

A Slice of Life

Written by Scott Rager

When I was twelve, our family left Nebraska in search of sunshine and prosperity and relocated to the small coastal town of Solana Beach, just north of San Diego. It proved to provide us with everything we were looking for in a new home; diversity, culture and new adventures. With this move came an addition to our family; Great Aunt Harriet. Harriet was actually my maternal Grandmother’s cousin originally from Heartwell, Nebraska. She had lived quite a life, traveling extensively all over the world and finally settling down in her 40’s, moving to Del Mar, CA and marrying the mayor of that charming little hamlet. By the time we arrived, Harriet was in her eighties, twenty years widowed and had lost most of her eyesight. Even though that didn’t affect her moxie, years of isolation had taken a toll of this once Grand Dame of Del Mar. That’s when Mom stepped in and did what she does best; she became Harriet’s caretaker. For three years Mom looked after Harriet, making sure she had well balanced meals, took her to the doctor and most importantly offered the companionship Harriet’s life was void of for so many years. Mom was there, holding Harriet’s hand when she finally passed away; telling her everything was going to be alright, just as she had done from the day we arrived. This is what I believe to be Mom’s calling.

Over the last year, my mom has started a much needed business in our community that allows her talents to shine. She is offering non-medical home health care to people in order to help make their lives easier by assisting them with those daily tasks that can be daunting when you reach a certain age or find yourself recovering from an illness or injury at home. Helping people to thrive in their own homes gives them such a sense of confidence. With some assistance with household tasks, meal preparation, errands and simple companionship, just imagine how someones attitude toward life can improve.

The other day, Mom was heading out to a client’s home who was having a hard time getting along when she had seen her the previous week. I wanted to send something with Mom to help brighten this woman’s day and since she had boasted with pride about being quite the baker “in her day”, I thought I would make her a special treat. How amazing is a slice of warm banana bread to lift your spirits? I was reminded of an edible gift I had assembled so many times when I lived in Los Angeles. It’s super easy to make and even easier to dress up. Think about taking a bit of time out of your day to surprise someone with a special treat. It’s nourishment for the recipient and it definitely feeds your soul.

banana box perfect2

 

I have a recipe for banana bread that’s super easy.

banana recipe full

3 or 4 ripe bananas

1/3 cup melted butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg; beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 pinch of salt

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Toasted walnuts (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix butter into smashed bananas.

Mix in sugar, egg and vanilla.

Sprinkle in salt and baking soda.

Add flour.

Pour into 4×8 loaf pan.

Bake 1 hour.  

bread

Once that was completed, I simply sliced it up, wrapped it in parchment paper, added a little “flair” and put them in a box.

banana slices

 

banana slice 1

 

banana slices stacked2

Plus, a couple of fresh tangerines to refresh her palate after the bread.

banana wrap3

A simple way to make someones day.

Bon appetit!

About the author

Scott Rager

Robert Scott Rager is a Nebraska native who returned home to start a boutique business called “County Seat Living”. His personal goal for “County Seat” is to translate the lifestyle design he was creating in Los Angeles for the past twelve years and apply it to the sensibility of the Great Plains. Whether he’s writing about decorating, homemade ice cream, floral creations, event planning or product design, he wants the personality and style of Nebraska to shine bright.