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.
I have a recipe for banana bread that’s super easy.
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.
Pour into 4×8 loaf pan.
Bake 1 hour.
Once that was completed, I simply sliced it up, wrapped it in parchment paper, added a little “flair” and put them in a box.
Plus, a couple of fresh tangerines to refresh her palate after the bread.
A simple way to make someones day.