July 15, 2009: A Messy Kitchen is a Happy Kitchen...

.... and this kitchen is delirious!

I envy the bloggers who give beautiful pictorial step-by-step instructions while preparing their recipes in their spotless, modern kitchens.

I'm not one of them.

My 80s era kitchen has a long counter that is perfect for food preparation, and I utilize every square inch of it. That's why you'll never see any pretty cooking pictures on this blog! You might see....

And this is just the beginning. It gets worse....

See what I mean?

Luckily, by the time the banana bread comes out of the oven, it's back to normal.

But I worked up an appetite. Who can resist warm banana bread, right from the oven?

I hate my old Harvest Gold formica counter top, and I lust for a granite beauty, in rich dark colors. Unfortunately, my counter top will not wear out, stain or burn up. And Mr. H thinks it looks great....he says it's "retro". I think I'm stuck with it.

And with the Harvest Gold sink.


Some Harvest Gold colored things aren't so bad, though.

A Harvest Gold pumpkin

Harvest Gold marigolds and calendulas

And can you believe this one day's picking of Harvest Gold crookneck squash?

I had to weigh the squash in two batches, and it added 6 pounds 12 ounces to my 2009 harvest total. I'd call that "Harvest Gold"!

Banana Nut Bread
Makes 1 average loaf (recipe may be doubled)

1/2 cup shortening (I use butter)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas
1 1/2 tbsp. milk mixed with 1 tsp. lemon juice or vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. soda
1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and beat until fluffy. Add mashed bananas, vanilla and milk/lemon juice.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and soda and stir into creamed mixture. Stir in walnuts.

Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350F for 45-50 min.

* I just bought new bread pans, and they are a very dark color. I almost burned my bread before the center was done. In the future, I'll use my old light colored aluminum bread pans, or drop the oven temperature to 325F.


  1. Oh Granny why are you making banana bread. If I had all that gold, I'd be making zucchini bread (or yellow squash bread I guess, but it just doesn't have the same ring). If not bread what are you going to do with all that squash?

  2. um....that is still cleaner than my kitchen when I cook/bake!!! I have flower everywhere!
    That pumpkin is getting BIG!

  3. Oh, man... I love banana bread but my boys eat up all the naners before they go bad, so I haven't made any in a long time. Nothin' better than a slather of butter on hot banana bread...

  4. Daphne, because I had six bananas that were turning black! We'll eat one and freeze one for when the kids visit. I have a son who inhales banana bread.

    I'm going to try fried crookneck. Mr. H loves fried zucchini, but I don't have any of that...I think they would fry up and taste the same. The rest can be sliced, blanched and frozen, as we really like to add it to green beans, corn or stir fry.


    Shawn Ann, I swear that pumpkin darned near doubled in size since yesterday!


    Momma_S, I didn't mean to let the bananas get over ripe, it just happens. That's my excuse, and I'm stickin' to it ;-)

  5. I'm partial to the avocado green, myself. Just something that screams, hey, I could be mold, but no! I'm your refrigerator.

    The crookneck is amazing. How many plants do you have?

    That pumpkin has got to be from another planet.

  6. LOL, ribbit...you'd like the mobile home I live in during the winter. It has an avocado green bathtub!

    I think there are two crookneck plants. I planted three, but seems as though only two came up. They do get huge! I picked more squash off of them today than I picked the entire summer last year, from the same amount of plants!

    I agree about that pumpkin. Actually a couple of the others have put on some heft in the past two days. I'm quite sure Daphne said they were the small sugar variety.

  7. Hey Granny, I'm with you on that clean kitchen, moodily lit cooking. If you're so busy stopping every 3 minutes to take an awe inspiring perfectly staged kitchen pic I don't think your focus is quite where it ought to be....... The proof is in the pudding - not in the picture of the pudding.

  8. I envy all your counter space! My kitchen is modern, but we had no choice, as our house was pretty much falling down when we bought it, lol! No kidding...we have 4 people in less than 1000 sq feet and did everything ourselves including the cabinets, so it was a labor of love, but alas...still no counter space!!!

  9. Thanks for the recipe. We love banana bread.

  10. Desert Dame, I like the way you think ;-)


    Erin, that's what we did with an old mobile home in AZ. I loved fixing it up, but now that it's finished I'm bored. There's noting left to keep me busy! So now I want to sell it and maybe update this house. I do love my kitchen, I only want cosmetic changes.


    MissyM, you are very welcome! It's a recipe from an old small town cookbook. I have healthier recipes for banana bread, but this one has all the flavor and moistness that we really like.

  11. No fancy kitchen here either. It's strictly workmanlike, small, and quite dated. I am too cheap(I mean "frugal"!) to spend good money replacing perfectly serviceable countertops and fixtures etc that work fine but are seriously aged. I AM guilty of keeping the kitchen pretty clean - just a habit of cleaning up as I go so the aftermath of a cooking effort does not feel so overwhelming. However, when I am canning ... all bets are off... the kitchen is a disaster area from beginning to end.

  12. KitsapFG, a woman after my own heart! I make big messes when I cook (even worse when I'm canning), but I end my day in the kitchen by soaking the dish rag in soapy bleach water and wiping down all surfaces with it. I like to start my day with a cup of coffee in a clean kitchen.

  13. Glad to see YOU'RE the one with the crooknecks this year. Last year, they were coming out of my ears!! I got sick of them-I was doing drive offs with them. In a few weeks, you'll be doing the same. I'm glad you don't have MY address! :)

  14. Wow, looks like you need to add zucchini bread to the cooking fun what with all that crockneck. Nice harvest.

    I have to say that the harvest gold looks cute to me but I'm not the one spearheading the makeover of our kitchen. That's the mister in our family.

  15. Sue, if I don't have your address, I can't send you green beans! Actually I don't mind frozen crookneck, since I like to add them to green beans. And you know I do have green beans. My, do I ever have green beans. ;-)


    Ottawa Gardener, they say if you wait long enough, the colors will come back into style. I notice many of the houses built in our town last year are avocado green and gold, so maybe my counter top and sink (and my avocado bathtub in AZ) will become stylish again someday! Nah, probably not ;-)

  16. At least with your dislike for your counter the bones of your kitchen are very nice. Those oak cabinets would set you back many thousands now. I take all my photos on our portable dishwasher as our counter is event worse then harvest gold. It's three toned brown and looks like sponge paint! It's removal is planned for the near future but that day has not come yet, unfortunately.

  17. That bread looks *divine*! And don't worry about your gold countertops - they're better then mine. (Which are a bright teal formica. I too wish we could gut and remodel our kitchen!)

  18. Jenn, I think harvest gold would be a bit easier to work with than bright teal! I guess we should be thankful we HAVE a kitchen...so many people have lost their homes recently.

  19. Hmmm, first Dan's rubarb pie and now your banana bread!! Oh man, both of those would go so well with my coffee this morning LOL! Now I'm hungry!

    That is a great harvest of yellow squash! Ours has already been pulled and now replanted. I can't wait for the next plants to start producing. Yellow squash is one of my favorites.

    You know, they say eventually things will come back around and be in style again... maybe your sink will get there again :-) Mine is the stainless steel which is also "out". But, I'm with you - if it's still in good shape, got to keep it.

  20. Judy, at least your stainless steel is easier to keep clean than my harvest gold! I'm surprised it isn't in style, as the all-stainless appliances are. You'd think a stainless sink would compliment them. Kitchen designers just need to make big bucks, so they change colors about every two years! Unfortunately for them, there are people like me who take 20 years to wear out their kitchens.