Something old, something new…
Allow me to tell you a little story. It goes back almost 20 years ago where posters of Kurt Cobain graced the back bedroom doors of many teenage rooms and flannel was all the rage. It was also during that time when I first met Mr. Greek. Yes, I’ve known him for that long.Thinking back to high school made me cringe, which made me wonder if I could get passed it and if it was possible to really turn something old into something new…
It was a warm September morning that year in 1993 and I was in the mood for some R&B. Tuning into the AM dial, I turned up the volume to dance to my favourite tune at the time, Don’t Walk Away Boy from the one hit wonder R&B trio, Jade. I couldn’t be more happy and excited because that day was officially my first day of high school. Feeling my skin tingle from my Noxema cleanser and slathering on some Cover Girl makeup that didn’t quite match my skin tone, I searched through my cabinet, pushed aside my Sun-In bottle and found my new perfume that I had picked up the other day at Shopper’s. Exclamation perfume with a big ol’ exclamation mark promised that I’d make a statement without saying a word and that’s exactly what I wanted. After all, I was a big girl now playing with the big boys in high school.
To my dismay, upon getting there, I didn’t make a statement one bit. If anything I felt like an ant in a big farm of plaid and smells of Vidal Sassoon hairspray and Eternity for Men. Feeling a twinge in my heart, I slinged around my small backpack purse and wrestled through it for my schedule. No, high school was nothing like I had expected.
High school was certainly a rough go for me. I was the only Latin girl in the school and I stuck out. And like most teens, I went through my phases: copious amounts of hairspray that clung to my big hair, belts that wrapped around my waist like a weight lifter, body suits that clipped at the crotch and cowboy boots to complete my wanna-be Gina Vanelli look. Following that came some typical high school debaucheries where my artwork became more graphic and I became more dramatic.
Taking periodic breaks from large canvases slathered in oil paint, I’d crack open my Dr. Pepper and walk down the hall. Peering over to the side of the main stairs, I’d glance and try to make eye contact with none other than Mr. Greek who was entrenched in his own grade 12 clan. Yes he was cute and I wouldn’t dare…he was in grade 12 after all.
So the day Mr. Greek popped back into my life brought back a flurry of high school apprehensions, guards and uneasiness. I had left the suburbs long ago for city adventure and had put the past behind me. So the other day when he, my past, was in my present, I looked over to the side and noticed a basket of very ripe bananas, which made me immediately put Mr. Greek’s virgin kitchen hands to work…
COCO NUTTY BANANA BREAD
1 cup steel cut oats
3/4 cup each all-purpose and spelt flour
1/2 cup Essential Living Foods Coconut Sugar
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3)
1/3 cup coconut oil (Garden of Life)
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup cranberries
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
Topping: flaked or shredded unsweetened coconut
In large bowl, whisk together rolled oats, all-purpose and spelt flours, coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda.
In separate bowl, whisk together egg, bananas, coconut milk and oil and vanilla extract; pour over dry ingredients. Sprinkle with cranberries; stir just until moistened. Place into a donut baking pan, sprinkle with coconut and place in oven at 350 for one hour or until cake tester comes out clean.
Let sit for 10 minutes and gently remove from pan and serve topped with coconut oil or almond butter.
While some may scoff at the organic movement, understand that unlike organic bananas, commercially grown varieties are gassed with ethylene to speed their ripening. So when buying organic, try to find ones that are almost yellow and allow them to ripen at home at room temperature. Simply place them in a closed paper bag to speed up the process. The more ripe the banana, the higher the sugar content. From a medicinal standpoint, those with candida type issues need to avoid or severely taper their consumption of high sourced fruits since it allows the yeast and fungal properties in the body to grow. On a positive note, they’re highly nutritive to the body, easily digested and soothing to the stomach lining. In some cases, bananas have even been used for hypertension due to its high potassium content.
So when you have bananas or other types of food in your fridge that’s about to go bad, it’s important to see their potential, give it a little loving and a bit of a chance and create something new. Which leads me to Mr. Greek.
While every so often I’m a little taken a back at how life has played out, I will admit the old is slipping away. It certainly is time to be grateful for the past, see the opportunities that lay in the present and make room for what seems to be an even sweeter future.