I'm a grandma. I prefer to go to bed at or before 9pm, I dress like I'm already in the wearing-purple-with-a-red-hat stage of my life, and my nickname in college was Nana Shayne. I'm cool with it. I own it.
One of my most grandmotherly tendencies is that I cannot bear to see food go to waste. I swear, it's like I grew up during the Great Depression. I don't hoard things, but try to throw out one of the several jars of leftovers in my fridge and just see what happens. I operate on a strong belief that expiration dates are flexible.
A benefit of this conviction is that my life is full of banana bread. I'm that friend who comes over and co-opts the rotting bananas on your counter. I'm that coworker who leaves on a Friday with this week's uneaten fruit and returns on Monday with delicious baked goods.
That's what happened here. After a week in Seattle, I returned to work to find a bowl of very brown bananas in the kitchen. I don't know if I'm the only one in my office who eats bananas or if my colleagues were so despondent without me around that they lost their appetites (let's go with the latter), but this is the kind of situation where food goes to waste in a normal office setting.
Not when Nana Shayne's around. Those mushy, sugary bananas were put to excellent use.
I used Heidi Swanson's recipe for Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread, with a few minor adjustments.
I nixed the chocolate and went with walnuts instead. I also used entirely whole wheat flour, simply because I was out of all purpose.
I also skipped the frosting. I like banana bread for breakfast or as a snack rather than dessert, so I usually go sans icing.
I like knowing a bunch of bananas was saved from a sad fate. Second chance recipes are my favorite: an empty-out-the-fridge soup, a good hearty frittata made with that week's surplus grains and wilted greens. A bread that takes something rotting and turns it into something sweet.
And I'm pretty sure my friends at work enjoyed the surprise.