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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Bananas That Never Go Bad

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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Location: United States

After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Bananas That Never Go Bad

If you're like me, you probably realize that bananas make a good snack, are healthy for the kids, are portable and even taste good. We buy bananas all the time. And every single time...until just recently...I would have to throw away at least one or two bananas, because they had shriveled up into a black nothing. On the one hand, we're always eating one and on the other hand, we always seem to buy a bit more than we need. I hate to waste stuff. Now I've finally found a solution.

I would love to be a baker...I really would. You know the people who can whip up just about anything, without a recipe and with minimal ingredients. But, I am just no baking expert. I used to make banana bread every now and then, but the recipes were either a little too complicated, had too many steps or I was missing an ingredient or two when it was time to throw it together. While we were staying in our new apartment, without our household goods, living on borrowed furniture and lending closet dishes and cooking implements, I decided I wasn't going to waste another banana. I know, where were my priorities? I didn't have a pot to pi** in as they say, and I was worried about the dumb bananas. Well, this was something I could control. Our stuff not being here....I couldn't.

So, here's a banana bread recipe you can do with just minimal ingredients and such. Make it all in one bowl too! Put the wet ingredients in the bowl, one by one and then mash the bananas up the side of the bowl. Add the dry ingredients on the other side and mash the bananas just like the photo. If you want to add nuts, add those at the end, after everything is just mixed! One small note on making quickbreads...stir ONLY until the ingredients are just mixed and let the mixed items just sit and "bubble" a bit while your oven is preheating. This will make for light and fluffy bread, rather than the dense, tough stuff that is overmixed (you only beat cake mix and not quickbreads).

I've made it since then at my German cousin's house, for the movers who were delivering our household goods, back in the States when I had to go back on an emergency and was digging through my brother's kitchen, and I'll continue to make it last minute wherever I go. Most people have the bananas to make this only really need one. The most you'd ever have to buy in someone's kitchen who absolutely doesn't cook is baking soda and vanilla extract. And if you don't want to make the recipe right away, just throw your peeled bananas in the freezer...they'll keep til you're ready. Keep them wrapped in plastic or in a ziploc bag.

Let me know how the recipe works for you. I like to double it myself:-))

The Absolute Best and Easiest Banana Bread Ever


  • 3 tablespoons shortening or vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 large)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts


    In a small mixing bowl, cream shortening (or oil) and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with banana. Fold in walnuts.
    Transfer to a 5-3/4-in. x 3-in. x 2-in. loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 8 servings.
    You can find the original recipe here.



    Blogger Linda said...

    I love banana bread, but no one in my family will eat it except me! We use bananas for smoothies on a regular basis.

    I put a cup of juice (usually orange, but sometimes a cran-mix or even the new raspberry acai is great!) 1-2 bananas (seems to be the amount that go bad in this house!), one small container of yogurt in any flavor (preferably something that will compliment your juice), and a bit of vanilla. Blend till well mixed, then add ice until thick and smooth. No heavy creams or ice cream required. Very healthy too....

    BUT...that being said...the next batch of bananas I have that don't "make it" will be used on your recipe!

    October 6, 2008 at 5:29 PM  
    Blogger Tava said...

    UGGGG! This came a few days too late for me. I had some bananas that were attracting the flies so I whipped (over whipped) up a batch of bread and it is so dense and tough. I've never really liked the recipe I have even though it is a "state fair winner"! Next time I will try this one and not mix as much! I tend to over-do that!

    ALSO--Awhile back you were asking for PCS tips and here is mine. Before you leave your current duty station, go to the doctor and have a well-child check or school physcial done for your child. Have the doctor fill out one of the physical forms required for CDC registration and take it with you! I did this for Gunnar and it saved us a TON OF TIME and heartache when we moved right before school started. Even though his physical wasn't on their form, it was acceptable until I could get him in to get their form completed. Plus it allowed us to register him immediately with the CDC! I wish I had done it with Linc because now I can't check him into the gym daycare until I get a physical and I have to wait for an appointment for that!

    Also, if you are coming from overseas (Asia at the very least) get a TB test before you leave. That way you aren't rushing around trying to set up a new home and having to deal with things you had plenty of time to do before left OCONUS!!!

    October 7, 2008 at 8:07 PM  
    Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

    Thanks Tava! I didn't realize you could use a health physical from another location in the interim. We were lucky this time in signing up for sports that our unit has a doctor assigned to us...and he is happy to keep the kids and spouses in check too....or else we would've been in a Catch 22 too.

    October 7, 2008 at 10:37 PM  
    Anonymous kirsten said...

    you don't even need to peel bananas before you freeze them-the peel is an excellent freezer wrapper! I have trained the hubby to toss bananas in the freezer whenever they get too spotted for his taste, so I always have bananas in my freezer. I usually make muffins with them, because the kids like my Whole Wheat Banana Peanut Butter Choc Chip muffins, but I am grateful to have a simple always-on-hand recipe like yours!

    If you freeze the banana in its natural state, then when you are ready to use it just let it thaw a bit (I toss mine in the sink before my morning walk) and then cut off one tip and squeeze the banana into the bowl-it's premushed and everything!

    October 9, 2008 at 3:01 PM  

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