Breads, Breakfast, BS, The Vault

Would you like some BS with your banana bread?

As I do every year, I spent the week before Christmas busting my tookas to make goodie bags for those near and dear. This year, the bags included body butter, eucalyptus bath salts, brown sugar body scrub, fudge, angelfood candy, hot cocoa mix and caramel corn. While I was flitting around the kitchen, I had quite a bit of time to think about what I want for myself in 2011. Well, actually, I’ve been thinking about this since the beginning of October, since I had a bunch of free time that I had no idea what to do with.

If you recall, my father had some major health issues this past Spring. I had yet another tooth give up the ghost. A big slap occurred on July 1 – we were told that our services were no longer required at the Haunted Barn. We had 48 hours to get our personal stuff out of the barn and then C-YA.

What really disturbed me about the whole thing (and I wasn’t the only one of the team or former workers to have issues) is that I feel like I was lied to to get me gone. I didn’t feel that way at first. We were told that day that the new people were only going to run at night and they were supplying all their own stuff.

I did my annual purchases in the gift shop during pumpkin season and even went out during the Civil War reenactment, paying for a ticket so I could finally see what I’d heard for 7 years. It was on that day that several people who recognized me informed me that the barn was open during the day, something I’d been asking for FOR YEARS was supplied by the farm, and the workers (of which there were many) were being paid a ridiculously low amount of money rather than minimum wage, which is what our barn paid. It hurt to know absolutely that we had been set aside for money. There was also a newspaper article about the new people that was full of lies and half-truths and I was so unbelievably tempted to put an anonymous comment on the paper’s web page with an offer of the truth with photos and emails as proof. But blah de blah blah. Too much like sour grapes for me.

I have to admit that I felt somewhat vindicated when I learned that quite a few of the kids that worked with us refused to have anything to do with the new barn or the farm because of what happened. That included paying to go through the new barn. So I now say good-bye to the haunted barn with my thumb to my nose, fingers waggling, and a raspberry.

We rocked our house on Halloween instead, thank you very much. I even did something I’d wanted to do for years – I SANG while wandering through our graveyard set-up. And windows didn’t even crack! Unfortunately, I have a new laptop that doesn’t have a port for the camera cable, so the video is trapped on tape for eternity. Note to self: get a new video camera.

Back to my original story. Sorry for the bitty rant.

So anyway, I declare 2011 to be the Year of Me. Me, me, me. In the last few days, something on Blogher or Facebook (can’t remember which – maybe both) caught my eye – using the word “intention” rather than “resolution” this year. I am all over that – “intention” doesn’t make me feel like I’m setting myself up for failure!

For 2011, my intentions are:

1. To post on this site a minimum of once every two weeks – preferably once per week.

2. To take care of my health and physical well-being by healthy eating and exercising.

3. To grow my hair via healthy and natural means.

4. To enrich my mind, and thus my job, by taking classes as needed.

5. To stop stressing about money.

Now for the details behind those intentions.

Every time I make something new, I say to myself, “Self, you need to take a picture and put the recipe up.” I know I was talking to me because I was wearing my own clothes and was standing in my kitchen. Unfortunately, Self didn’t listen well, much like The Gidge. However, this is a new year, the Year of Me, and Self damn well better listen to me or I’ll take her treats away. So be prepared for the snarkiness to come – if I weren’t sarcastic, Self wouldn’t be me.

I eat entirely way too much crap. I have already adjusted my self-image a bit by getting new contacts in November (Oh! So that’s what it’s like to see!). Which, in my world, means I have to *gasp* wear make-up and do my hair. So I’ve been going to work every day being able to see and looking damn good, if I do say so myself. I’m slowly working my diet toward the mediterranean way, which seems amazingly healthy and I don’t eat a lot of meat anyway. A couple of weeks ago, I went through the third bedroom and threw a bunch of crap out, sorted more crap, and found the exercise equipment that was buried under yet more crap. The Man’s cousin’s wife is big into fitness and is going to help me come up with a routine that fits into my schedule. Once the food and exercise are under control, I’m quitting smoking. Again.

I have no clue what I was searching the web for back at the end of September, but I stumbled across the Long Hair Community. After doing a lot of reading, I stopped using chemical hair color and have been using body art quality henna instead. I’ve stopped using my old combs, shampoos and barrettes after getting involved in this site; I’ve also starting using oil treatments, wearing my hair up in various ways, and generally taking much better care of my hair. The result has been thicker, softer, healthier hair that has grown nearly twice as much per month as it had when I colored with chemical dye. If you have long hair, want to grow your hair long, or want to treat your hair better than you do now, please check them out.

My company is pretty cool in that they’ll pay if you take a class, as long as you pass it. I’ve already signed up for my first online course on Adobe Photoshop. Somewhere in the year, I plan to take the required classes to become a certified appraiser for manufactured housing. I have my eye on a few other graphic design courses as well. Who knows what’ll happen once I get started?

It’s hard in today’s economy to not stress about money when you don’t have any. I am hoping to make my head shut up when I’m trying to fall asleep, which is when the money stress is the worst. Makes it hard to crash, you know? There outta be a button on the side of our heads that you can push to TURN. OFF. YOUR. BRAIN. Imagine how easy it would be to argue with your sig other – you don’t want to say the wrong thing by overthinking the argument, right? So you push that little button and all your brain can spit out is, “Yes, dear.” Hey – I think I need to find one of those buttons to stick on the side of The Man’s head.

So now that I’ve bored the three readers I have left senseless with my ramblings, I can go back to the first intention on the list.

I don’t know what other food bloggers do, but more often than not, I will make a successful recipe four or five times before I post it (or I used to, anyway). I hate the idea of putting something out there that could potentially fail if a cook sneezes cross-eyed at the whatever-it-is. I’ve run into that myself with recipes I’ve found online. If I didn’t do everything precisely the right way…turn the bowl 98 degrees to the right, stand like a stork on your left foot, whistle “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy” while stirring with a plastic spoon coated in olive oil… You get the idea. If you ever catch a weird instruction coming from me, feel free to reach through the computer monitor and bitch-slap me. I’m cool with that.

This is one recipe that’s been made multiple times and has been successful each time. I made one last test loaf on Saturday morning, but I don’t think anyone but me ate it. But that’s fine – more for me. You know me…I’m all about the baked goods.

You know, it'll be nice when I can figure out where my text editor went! After upgrading both wordpress and thesis, the only buttons I have avaibable to use are the upload buttons, dang it. Once I get them back, I'll go through this and italicize and bold what's supposed to be.

Healthy Banana Bread (Relatively Speaking)

1 cup white rice flour

3/4 cup tapioca flour

1/2 cup millet flour

1/4 cup potato starch

1/4 cup amaranth flour

1 tbsp xanthan gum

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp kosher salt

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 very ripe medium bananas

1/4 cup skim milk

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 egg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients except brown sugar. In another bowl, mash the bananas, then add the brown sugar, egg, applesauce and milk, stirring well. Mix the dry ingredients slowly into the wet ingredients until all is combined. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the pan after a few minutes and allow to cool before slicing.

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