Wandering around my house this evening, the 3rd evening in a row that I've been here alone. My husband is in our Coos Bay home, my twins have been working, and my youngest son has been at school working on their play.
I cooked myself some dinner. Single portion, no left overs, the boys weren't home to cook for. A bit later I decided that I wanted something else. Something like dessert. We had nothing resembling a ready to eat dessert in the house, but we did have 4 bananas getting a little too ripe and a can of pumpkin in the pantry. Pumpkin banana bread sounded good. I looked up a recipe and began mixing. I looked at the half can of pumpkin and 1 banana still left, I figured they'd contribute to some good pancakes in the morning. Then all of a sudden I had a lump in the throat and actual tears in my eyes. The boys may eat the pumpkin bread and the pancakes, but still, I felt like I was just cooking for myself. Other than breakfast, I haven't cooked just for myself in over 21 years.
This is what it feels like to have an empty nest.
I don't like it.
And for the first time, I felt grateful for the girls. I love them, I've loved them since I met them. Since before I met them actually. But I wasn't looking for a relationship that would bring step-kids into my life. I accepted it, because I love their dad so much, but it wasn't something I actually wanted.
I hadn't finished mixing up the batter when I heard the text chime on my phone. Nate was letting me know that Smarty Pants had a bit of an emotional melt down after dinner and asked if I wanted to call her. I texted back yes, of course.
I'm so happy to have them in my life. To have them to care for.
Here's the recipe I used tonight. I based it off a recipe I found on line, but modified it. I made it fat free, which makes putting butter on it later okay. (really, go ahead).
Banana Pumpkin Ginger Bread
- 2 Ripe bananas
- 1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2/3 cup molasses
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 t baking powder
- 1 t baking soda
- pinch of salt
- pumpkin pie spice
- all spice
The recipe called for oil and eggs too. I exchanged the oil with the molasses, and I actually just forgot to put the eggs in, but I often reduce or eliminate eggs from baking recipes because Smarty Pants is allergic. I've found that with a little extra moisture (like applesauce, oil, etc) I can eliminate eggs.
Anyway, mix up the wet ingredients with the sugar, mix up the dry ingredients well, add to the wet ingredients, mix together well. Pour into loaf pan, bake at 350 for 55 minutes.
This came out VERY moist.
If your wondering, that's a jar of honey, a bottle of wine, guava jelly, a pepper grinder, kosher salt and mint jelly. I moved the peanut butter, it made the counter look messy and cluttered.
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