Thursday, July 17, 2014

Recycling of a banana

My husband bought a few extra bananas this week. The skin of the  bananas started changing color. My kids and me are so finicky about the colour of the banana. Even if it is one shade less from the accepted color of the skin we don't eat it. Leave alone the colour, if it is little extra ripe than what we consume , then that qualification of the banana also makes it unedible. If my husband was here he  would have eaten it without any fuss. Since yesterday the bananas are  just hanging in the stand. The humidity of this place makes it even worse. Today they have become too soft. I felt guilty to throw them into the trash. Usually I don't waste food. So this quality of mine made me think about recycling the banana. 

Usually the ripe bananas become banana milk shake or banana pan cakes. Today I thought I will make banana walnut bread. After scrutinizing various recipes on the internet finally I got hold of one that was very easy plus it demanded very few ingredients. I checked my pantry and fridge for the ingredients. Hurray!! I had all the stuff needed to bake a banana walnut bread. I followed the instructions in the recipe word by word . Mashed the bananas, mixed the butter, sugar,flour, salt, baking soda in the right proportion as mentioned. Poured into a greased pan.Then I shoved  the mixture  into the so called oven which I had. Licked the remaining part from the bowl to check for the sweetness. It was perfect. When the timer went off I took the bread out. It looked fantastic on the outside. I poked a toothpick and it came out clean. 

I was very happy that it had turned out as expected. I let it cool down on the rack for some time. After my kids came back from school I wanted to give them as the snack. Both of them came back . With all excitement I slid the knife through the bread. :((((( What a flop !!! It was neither like a bread nor like a cake. It had the consistency of some Indian sweet. Little guey, little solid,,, don't ask me I can't explain more than this....How can I go on explaining my failure in baking....?? 

I decided to the gunea pig. First I wanted to taste it. I tasted it . Thank God the taste was kind of OK. Why wouldn't  it be ok if a whole lot of butter, egg, walnuts, banana and sugar went into it. I put the slices on the plate and gave my children. At the outlook my son asked, "Mama what is this?" I had no words to say. I kept quite knowing the fact silence is the best answer at times. Then my daughter , who is the quality checker of my house put a piece into her mouth and then said "Oh it is supposed to be a banana bread." "Not bad!" I was happy that she could figure out the taste of it. After getting the approval from his sister my son bit into a piece of the bread. Till then he was reluctant to taste. Usually I can dodge him by giving anything when he is watching TV. Today the show was coming to an end when I handed over the snack to him hence he became quite watchful about what went into his mouth. After tasting a piece he said, " Mama I like it . It is nice and guey." so finally I have passed the test.

Now coming to the point where my calculations went wrong!! If my husband had seen the over  ripe bananas either he would have eaten it or thrown it in the trash. There ends the story of the over ripe bananas. Unlike him I wanted to recycle the bananas into some edible product. I convince myself that my thought and effort were to be appreciated. . On the flip side if I think about it I feel what a waste of time and things. Instead of having the heart to throw just two bananas I used butter, egg, walnuts, sugar which are all much more expensive than the bananas. Plus the electricity used for baking. Plus the time I spent on making it , cleaning the place followed by the cribbing about cooking all the time. When put together, I could have very well gotten a nice banana walnut cake from a bakery for my children. 

I too fall into the general category of women not wanting to waste anything. Compared to men we claim ourselves to be very intelligent. There is a proverb in Tamil which goes like ”மிளகு போவது தெரியாது, கடுகு போவது தான் பெரிதாய் தெரியும்.” The literal translation means, we ignore things which are in the size of pepper being wasted but make a big issue when a mustard size thing is wasted." Meaning we ignore the big problems in life but worry about the smaller issues in life.  Women usually consider themselves to be economical in spending. But we can spend thousands of rupees on one single silk saree which we will wear once in a life time. We will buy jewellery but will feel bored to wear it after few times. At the end we justify our stand saying it is all investment. 

  Anyways I turned the bananas into a bread somehow. Luckily it turned out to be edible . For the mistake in the consistency I would very well blame it on the oven. Final decision is next time I see an over ripe banana it just goes into the blender with milk to be made into a banana milk shake. Saves my time and energy. Anyhow tomorrow breakfast is going to be the banana bread...Anybody willing to drop by???

Monday, March 3, 2014

Baked a Cake

Baked a cake.....

March 3, 2014 at 9:49am
The all important day arrived yesterday... Yes it was my loving son's birthday.... This year we decided to celebrate his birthday later, the reason being his final exams were starting today.... To celebrate  it in a lighter tone we took him to the temple in the morning and then we decided to go out for lunch .... Assuming he can study from the afternoon we decided to do so.....Later in the day I found out anyways it would not have made any difference even if we had gone out in the evening because his preparation time for the exam takes just one hour with four breaks in between..... I wanted to be extra nice to him ... anyways once we sit to start studying we will have a world war 3...

I thought I will bake a cake for him to make him happy and feel special.... The first thing I did in the morning was to bake a cake. After baking it I left it to cool and went to the temple. After coming back from the temple I tilted the cake upside down on a plate and got a full cake without breaking it .... I was happy that it had come out in good shape .... I brought the cake to the table ... made it sit on a tray, got a candle and a knife ...To make it look more presentable I put a few M&Ms on the cake... To me it looked nice and I was praying that it should taste good too .Clicked  a few usual  pictures of the cake before it was dissected , then took a picture of him blowing the candle....Sang the birthday song with our hoarse voices ... then he cut the cake ... when he was cutting the cake I felt he was not able to slide  the knife through it but was trying to cut it through like he was cutting through a piece of meat.... My heart was going dhak dhak thinking how the cake was going to taste... more than the taste what all comments I am going to hear from my dear children.... Again we took a few pictures of feeding him with the cake...His mouth was stuffed with the cake ...Looked like he was finding a little difficult in chewing the cake...I thought I had stuffed a big piece into his mouth... After he tasted the cake I asked him how did the cake taste... His answer was the usual, "It's OK mama"... What do I understand from this??

Then my daughter tasted the cake .... The immediate reaction that came from her was ,"Mama If you had given it to me I would have baked a good cake, it tastes so bad." So according to her scale of measurment the cake got a zero.... There came my son to my rescue... He said, "Sruthi , how many recipe's have you tried making and tasting before you puked on your own creations?"  She gave him a  tigress look and said "That was one time Rishi that I felt like puking after I tried making that pudding". Somewhere down I felt that my son was by my side.... The dad said it tasted good.. I tasted it .. It was not so bad as Sruthi projected it to be... It tasted inbetween a bread and a cake.... Anyways I thought to make myself happy I would ask Rishi one more time... I didn't realize then that I was digging my own grave.... I asked him again "Rishi how did the cake taste?" I could have very well stopped with his double sided answer of "ITs ok Mama". But my over anxiety made me repeat the question ...... Rishi was too sweet a boy that he tried avoiding answering the question again but do you think I would leave ... No  , the mom instinct in me wanted to hear the right answer.... He said very quietly ,"Mama it is not that bad as Sruthi says, It just tastes kind of a little plasticky  and it is tasteless... thats all but I can eat it"... A tight slap on my cheeks right??? This was enough for me to come to a conclusion that I should always get Betty Crocker's readymade mix ,,, bake it and serve it and get the name "mama it was awesome"... Why did I take so much effort to try out new things on his birthday????

As an icing to the cake , when we went out for lunch my daughter asked,"Mama do you think we should get him a nice cake and make him cut it in the evening?" It was my turn to turn into a tigress.......grhhhhh..... then again Rishi came up with "It's ok Sruthi I dont want to do it again... anyways I will have a nice cake when I call my friends to celebrate my birthday party after my exam...right mom??"" By then I had decided that silence is the best answer at times.......