Banana Bread–an old Recipe from an Old Cookbook

“That cookbook has lost its covers and is pretty shabby!” Jabber commented.

Yes, indeed it is.  I think I have had the cookbook some 50 years or more–and haven’t made all the recipes in it at all.  Likely never will.  The Banana Bread recipe is a good one, though, and I’ve made it over and over for a long time.  It occurred to me I should put the recipe up on the blog and then print it out and save it in my ‘keepers’ recipe file before the pages completely disintegrate.

I never knew a “Nancy Voth,” and in fact, I never was familiar with a sorority known as Gamma Pi.  At one point, however, I did live in New Jersey–until the age of 7 years.  No idea where this cook book came from, either.  The recipes in it, however, are very good and basic for baking–from cookies to pies to cakes to dessert breads to punch.  The one limitation is that many of the ingredients are designated “1 x-sized can of xx” and that size isn’t produced any longer.  I adjust as necessary.

Just follow the directions above–but be sure your butter (I prefer butter, but you might substitute margarine if you wish–I think this book was put together way, way back when butter was very ‘dear’) and eggs are at room temperature and that you do, indeed, beat the sugar (I substituted Splenda today) and shortening (butter) until light and fluffy.  (This may take a while–but it is worth it.)  Often I have some frozen bananas in the freezer and they are perfect for this bread.  Be sure they are completely defrosted, too.  At the end, I added some chopped pecans to it as well–about 1/2 cup.  Walnuts are also good in this recipe.


If you are using very cold or frozen ingredients, place on the counter to defrost overnight (do not leave eggs out overnight).  Measure out all other ingredients and prep your bread pan.  Before you begin to make the bread, break the eggs into a bowl so they will warm up a little bit before you add to the butter and sugar mixture.  You will be ready to ‘throw’ this together quickly in the morning!

When it has baked for an hour, use a wooden skewer to test doneness.  Today it was perfectly done at 1 hour, sometimes it takes longer–not a scientist so can’t tell you exactly why.

Let the bread cool completely on a rack–out of the pan.  When cool, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then foil.  It can be frozen or served the next day, depends upon your needs.  Enjoy!



Green Eggs and…..Bacon

“Breakfast is my most favoritest meal!” Jabber declared but went on to say, “‘Cept for Lunch and Dinner.  And snacks.  And brunch.  And….”

Yes, my sentiments persactly Jabber!

This morning I decided to use some leftovers for breakfast.  I had cooked bacon the other day, refrigerating what we didn’t need.  So I heated it up and mixed three eggs, a couple tablespoons of pesto I had on hand (made last summer and frozen) and 2 heaping teaspoons of some cheese.


Green Eggs and Bacon

I had some leftover blueberry bread I’d frozen, so that topped it off.  Think about this….next St. Patrick’s Day perhaps?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch  on the floor,

The Spicy Royal Red Paprika was living up to her name….she’d located the toilet paper roll in a bathroom and was enjoying about half a roll of it.

Well, she looks cute, anyway…..

The “Reveal” Is Here!

“Oh no!  Don’t reveal anything!  Nobody will ever read any of your posts ever again!” Jabber was alarmed.

“Fiddle de dee,” said Scarlett….  “Who cares if they don’t like what I reveal?”

“Who is Scarlett?  And what is she doing on this blog?”  Now Jabber was really confused.

Dunno.  She suddenly popped in….

Speaking of Poppy….

“Who was speaking of Poppy?” Jabber asked….

Nobody.  But she’s the subject of this post, so I’d better be about it.

Poppy went to the beauty parlor today.  First time!  She’s growing up too fast.

No.  I mean it…..she is REALLY GROWING up too fast!  Whew.

Poppy immediately embraced the lady who did her hair fur and nails.  Seriously.  The lady, Rachel, bent down and Poppy put her arms around Rachel and proceeded to give her  hugs and kisses.

Go figure.

All we usually get are ‘love bites.’

Anyway, she took to the whole experience rather nicely reported Rachel, although she did sort of enjoy her bath with front arms splayed across the top of the tub.  Otherwise, it was fine.  Just fine.

We dropped off this poodlette:

And a few hours later, we picked up this one:


“Wait a minute!  You got the wrong Poodlette!” Jabber was again alarmed.

Of course we didn’t.  We can tell by her behavior.  Cleans up nicely, eh what?

Bonus:  SHE CAN SEE!  And we can see her pretty eyes again.

Tomorrow, it’s off to find a car seatbelt for Miss Poppy–she’s tired of having to kennel up to go anywhere.


Waking Up

It’s now 5:50 a.m. and I’ve been up for a while.  Friends of mine sometimes get up at 2:30–those of us over a ‘certain age’ seem to have this internal clock which doesn’t let us sleep a long time.  Maybe it’s because there is so much life to be lived and we don’t want to miss a moment of it.  As long as there is a nap in the afternoon (‘power naps’ they call them, which makes me laugh!), we seem to get along just fine with limited sleep.

But what does one do at such an early hour?

I have a large glass of water, make my coffee, and go to the computer–first up, check my email.  Hopefully somebody has thought to shoot me an email, or put up a new post on his/her blog, or there’s an interesting article sent to me from some website.  Mostly, though, it’s ads.  Ads for products, services, and political groups.

I’ve thought of deleting some of those, but then something will catch my eye or I’ll have an interest in one of those new fangled products–so I hate to remove myself from their mailing list.  Not that one can, anyway.  I think once one is on an email list, one is always on an email mailing list.

Checking my blog, I look for ‘likes’ or ‘comments’–both of which are enjoyed if there are any.  Most of the time, there aren’t.  But I keep posting, anyway–for the friends and family who read this and want to know what’s going on in our part of the world, with our circle of loved ones.

Then, it’s Lumosity games.  It seems to wake up my brain….my favorite one is “Trains of Thought”–where one is presented with different configurations of train tracks on the screen, and for me up to 52 trains in 2 minutes.  The idea is to switch the tracks for each train so each gets to the color-coded ‘house’ which matches each little train’s colors.  I’ve been trying to get all 52 trains into their respective houses for about a year now (working my way up from a few to 52 over time).  I’ve not succeeded yet.  Still I keep trying.  Why I don’t know.  They have convinced me it makes me smarter or keeps me sharper or something.  I think I have just gotten better at playing their games.

So, now I’m awake…..both the body and the mind….and looking forward to a new day (morning, early morning, is my favorite time of the day).  So much possibility!  So many things to do!  So many projects to consider, some to accomplish, some just dream about.  TMWLH will get up soon–whenever Poppy decides she wants out of her kennel which is located in our bedroom–she’ll alert him it’s time to get up and he will dutifully arise to take her outside for her “morning constitutional.”

It’s a good way to start the day.

It’s a good life.

When my children were very young, I relished the brief time in the early mornings when I could have my coffee in peace and quiet–but those days are long, long past.  It became a nice habit for me to arise so early, and now I find it’s a good time to reflect on life, sometimes accomplish a few things (quiet things–like ironing those few items, or organizing coupons, or planning for an upcoming event.  I  like to use paper and pencil when planning.  Seems to clarify things for me a bit better than typing them up on the computer or making lists on Evernote or whatever.  But I am ever so grateful for the internet!)  The early-to-bed, early-to-rise motto grabbed me in my 20’s and I’ve continued the practice for over 50 years.

The day is beginning.  The sun is coming up; so is the poodle!  Life will be a hustle and bustle likely today:  Friends to see, a workout to challenge my body, appointments to keep, plans to make, and the everyday activities which encompass our lives.

The birds are getting up, too–I hear them singing outside in the trees.  Spring is here, the tulips are coming up, the Red Bud and Bradford Pear trees are in bloom….a new dawn.  A beautiful time of the day.

I hope your day is beautiful and begins as enjoyably as mine.  Take time to notice life–even if it means you get up at 2:30 a.m.  Or 8 a.m.  Just take the time…..and notice.



Saturday Morning Brocanting and Brunch

“Now there is a table full of trouble” Jabber stated emphatically.



Left to right:  Girlfriend, Cupcake, Jabber, Vanna, Sosew, Thumper

We aren’t trouble.  We just get INTO trouble–and make a lot of noise and say outrageous things and have a good time.  Like today when a seller said to one of our Brocanters downstairs, “It sounds like they are having a PARTY up there,” referring to other Brocanters upstairs.

We were.  Sosew found a book with the title, “Sex for One”–we all burst into laughter.  (No, we did not look at the book.  And no.  We didn’t buy it either.)  One never knows what a sale will have to offer–sometimes treasures and sometimes just a good laugh.

Girls just wanna’ have fun, right?

It’s the first time in quite a while that all the Brocanters have been together–so we had to celebrate and have brunch at Crumb de la Crumb after sales.  Vanna joined us for brunch, but didn’t make it for the expedition which took us to several locations.

Once in a while, it’s just appropriate to show all the Brocanters together.

“Oh, come on….once in a while you just like to see yourselves.  Am I right?” Jabber asked.

Of course.



Brocanters on Beale Street

“Oh boy.  I bet you got into TROUBLE! there,” Jabber said, knowing us as she does.

No.  Not persactly.  Well…..

We walked to Beale Street from the Peabody Duck adventure, looking for an elegant luncheon experience.


“Who is George Paul?  And what’s he calling about at last?” Jabber innocently inquired.

We don’t know.  We are innocent, too.

On we walked, looking, looking, looking…….

And then we discovered  Silky Sullivan’s restaurant….outdoor dining, at its finest!


“WHAT?  You dined with…..animals?  Inside the restaurant?”

I know.  I know.  Amazing, isn’t it?  We were OUTSIDE in an open air dining area, but yes….two bears and two goats were there.  But the goats are SPECIAL goats!  Yes.  They like to DIVE!

And….wait for it…..wait for it…..THEY ARE IRISH!

”How do you know?  Did you talk to ’em?  What makes them Irish?”

I don’t know, Jabber.  But they were.  Says so on the sign.  And we did not see them dive, either, but they must ’cause it says so and we believe everything we read.

After a scrumptious lunch of BBQ sandwiches and onion rings, Thumper needed some socks.

“Huh?  You are not making any sense again.   Why would Thumper need socks after eating BBQ?  She get some on her feet or somethin’?” Jabber inquired

No.  She’d not worn socks and needed some sos that her feet wouldn’t hurt.  We were walking a long way….

So she bought some and came back to show them to us…

  Thumper’s new socks

She was very proud of them.  She’d gone to a mercantile store, just down the street, which sold lots of old-looking things and for ONLY $8 she’d acquired these lovely owl socks.  What a bargain!  She bought the socks instead of new shoes, which WERE an option and offered by one of the sales clerks, but she opted for socks.  These were the cheapest they had…..

But she insisted that we go back to the store with her, so we did.  We bid goodbye to our friends, the Goats

“You made friends with them?” Jabber’s eyes were wider now….

And we made our way down the street to the store.  Inside, on a wall very high up, we saw…

    A primitive-painted mural and a ‘gob’ of stuff–all kinds of stuff, much of it from times past.  Lots of fun to look through….

  One could buy this shirt if one had one’s ‘mojo’ workin’…..

“What’s a ‘mojo’?  Do I have one?  Is it workin’?” Jabber inquired.

Don’ know persactly, Jabber…

An old time soda fountain inside the store was fully operational, but alas! no customers.

  One could take one’s picture inside this photo booth, too!

This child was on Shark Tank a while back.  Girlfriend had seen the program!  His bow ties were available as well.

And, at the checkout counter up on the wall, this pair of enormous Carhart pants!

“Who would fit into those?” Jabber asked in wonder…

We don’t know.  A very large person, evidently.

Since Thumper had her new socks and Girlfriend had made a purchase or two and CCQ Daughter and Jabber were getting tired, it was time to leave and head back to Nashville.  So, of course, we did.

Jabber sure had a good time on this adventure!

Memphis Ladies

“Memphis Ladies?  You are from Nashburg!” Jabber commented, always getting something somewhat wrong…..

We went to Memphis.  On our trip earlier this week.  For a tour of the Peabody Hotel, famous for ducks and architecture and then to Beale Street to see its sights.

That’s all there is in Memphis?  And what’s this about ducks?  Did they waddle and crack?”

No, that’s not all there is.  We saw a map showing all the sights we could go see….



That’s all we had time to see that day. 

And, Jabber it’s “Quack.”  They quacked. 

“You are cracked.” Jabber mumbled, insightfully.

As we walked to the hotel, we noticed all these plaques in the sidewalk and wondered what they were. Finally Jabber figured it out–they were DUCK FEET! with the names of important dignitaries through the years.

See the little ducks at the bottom of the welcome mat?

The hotel is old and historic, but today the claim to fame is the ducks which are brought, every morning at 11 a.m., down to the fountain in the lobby to swim.  It is a grand walk on red carpet!

The person in charge of the ducks is called the Duckmaster.

Duckmaster. I can’t help but wonder if this is what he wanted to be as a little boy? Maybe………he was very nice and knew a lot about the ducks. And the hotel.

We spent a good deal of time looking at the architecture of the hotel–and at the ducks.  There is something about little ducks playing in a fountain that is fascinating.  On the other hand, it doesn’t take a LOT to amuse us……

Here are some more photos of the hotel.

“Who’s that?  Why is she inside a box in the hotel?”

That’s CQQ Daughter.  I took photos of Girlfriend, Thumper and CCQ in these old phone booths and she got stuck in one…..


There are those darned ducks again–I told you we were fascinated by them…..


Lansky’s men’s clothiers–where Elvis shopped.  Inside hotel.


One of the ballrooms in the hotel on the left and a mail chute between the elevators.  These were used by guests to get their mail to the lobby where it was taken to the post office.  An old fashioned technology, but on the cutting edge back in the 1920’s.

Piano used by Francis Scott Keys!

We headed up to the roof!

  to the Duck Palace of course…..where else?

L to R: Girlfriend, Thumper, CCQ Daughter and Jabber. On the roof. On top of the Peabody. In Memphis. With the ducks.

“Well, ain’t that just ducky!” Jabber sarcastically muttered.

Duck Palace

on roof top of Peabody Hotel

with open air ‘cages’ in back

and their own private fountain

“You’re kidding?”

Nope.  Not.  Those duckies live very well.

“Maybe it’s where the Duckmaster lives?” Jabber suggested.

Dunno.  Might be…..

“Okay.  I give up.  What is that and what’s it doing in the hotel?  Next you’ll be telling me you saw pink elephants there too.” Jabber is a bit exasperated with me at this point.  

I don’t know what they are–dogs of some sort.   But, yes.  Here are some elephants inside the hotel, although they aren’t pink.


“Wait a min….were you in a zoo or in a hotel?” Jabber was getting skeptical now….

Oh, we were in the Peabody Hotel and I have no idea why so many different kind of animals are there.  But they didn’t hold a candle to the diving goats with whom we had lunch later.

“Daft.  Dafty Ducks!  You are all daft!” Jabber declared and marched off, not understanding.  

(I will show you the diving goats later, next post.)  Meanwhile, back to the hotel:


Above, murals in the hotel.

And we had to go in to Lansky’s men’s clothiers store.



All kinds of interesting things to see in Lansky’s, including a pair of men’s underwear.  Which Jabber HAD to photograph.

“Hey!  Hurry up, don’t look back!–they’re gainin’ on ya……” Jabber remarked, ever mindful of our safety…

So, of course, we hightailed it outta’ there…after one last look at the ducks….

“WAIT!  You forgot CCQ Daughter!”

Oh.  Yes.  Well, we did remember, eventually……..

Another Group of Ladies Who Lunch

I was invited to a beautiful luncheon hosted by my friend, Nadia, at her home today.  Let me show you the photos of the table and food!

Beautiful purple, pink and white table setting with a bouquet in the center of spring flowers.


The food presentation was absolutely spectacular!  The main course consisted of “Mexican hat” pasta stuffed with a delicious tuna salad.


How cute and clever are those!




And, a lovely platter of assorted bruschetta, smoked salmon, fresh vegetables, and pita roll ups with spinach and Feta cheese.

Conversation was varied and interesting.  One of the ladies is originally from Scotland and now teaches line dancing, another was a neighbor and has newly begun employment at the YMCA, and of course Nadia, our hostess, and her friend Peggy were full of interesting tales of their travels, interests, hobbies and activities!

Tyler (left) is Jeannie’s son, then Nadia our hostess in the center, Kathy and Peggy

We discussed Downton Abbey and assorted other programs and movies in which we were interested, chatting about the various characters and historical implications.  So much fun to visit with such a delightful group!

For dessert, a beautiful presentation of a chocolate cup filled with a pudding, a cookie, a bit of rum, and some additional chocolate!  YUM!  Nadia also offered us cookies and cake.  Needless to say, we were filled to the brim!

Ladies luncheons are always such special and fun occasions–a chance to get to know some friends a bit better, and the hostess had gone to great troubles preparing us a beautiful meal.  The presentation was artistic, as is our hostess!

Loved it!

Breaking news….Poppy Update

“Breaking what?  What did she break now?” Jabber inquired, exasperated….

Oh, she didn’t break anything ‘cept maybe the world’s record on growing fast.  Lil’ Darlin’, aka The Spicy Royal Red Paprika, know in these here parts as “Poppy” is now a little over 4 months old and weighs……..28.9 pounds.

Take a good look at this photo.  ‘Cause Monday next, Poppy is goin’ in.  


Goin’ in to be groomed.  Per Oksana’s Manual which says, (and I quote here),

All Poodlettes, upon reaching the appropriate weight and age to do so, and of course, upon approval from her doctor, shall go in for the first beauty shop appointment as soon as humanly possible (in this case, when the humans could make the appointment, but I digress here….)and obtain a luxurious bathing, shampoo, stylish haircut and nails completely manicured in the latest fashion.”

“Thereafter, all Poodlettes shall then maintain said grooming on a six weeks schedule, obtaining the best beauticians available and, of course, demanding the most chic and updated dos.”

Being a large-boned little lady, Miss Poppy will, undoubtedly, require that said schedule be strictly maintained.  Her nails are, of course, naturally maroon, (she is a Royal Red, after all) require no painting unless she, herself, decides to change the color.  While she is definitely going to have the height of a model, she wants to look the part as well.  Presently, she is practicing on her stage walk.

Nuf said.


We headed Back to the Ranch

“What ranch?  You went to a ranch?” Jabber asked.

No, it’s a figure of speech, Jabber.  We went back to the motel.  Actually, we checked into the motel.

“So you’d never been there before?”


“Then you can’t say you headed BACK to the ranch ’cause,” Jabber helpfully explained to me, “‘Cause first off, it wasn’t a ranch and second off, you’d never been there, so you can’t go back there.”

She’s quite correct.  And she makes no sense.  How about that?

We checked into our motel for a nap.

It was a lovely place, too–a new Hampton Inn where we got SUITES! and SWEETS too!~  Yep, free cookies right there when we checked in.  And free coffee.  And free apples.  Guess what we chose?

No, don’t bother.

An’ guess what Jabber photographed?

“The hotel?”


“The rooms?”


Jabber photographed what was available in the mini mini mini shop where one could buy treats:


Actually, Jabber photographed this because…

This represented Jabber

This was Thumper

And this was Girlfriend.


A flavor for each one us–how thoughtful of the ice cream people to do that!

Oh, never mind….

We checked in and had a nice nap and then went to CCQ Daughter’s house for a delicious supper.  I mean a DELICIOUS supper!

And a haircut.  Which was only obtained by Jabber.  Because she needed one and Granddaughter knows how to cut hair, that’s why.  So she did.

“Tell ’em more ’bout Covington…it’s more interesting, anyways, than ice cream flavors…”

Ok.  But nothing is much more interesting than ice cream flavors.

We saw this sign in a shop.  Jabber commented she does this too, as well as mooing at cows….

And we considered getting this for a new mother, but we are old mothers and have no intention of becoming new again and didn’ know any new mothers….so we passed on this one.

In your spare time, make one of these for your very own self out of a wooden plank thingy-ma-jigg you see all over the place….


We never figured out who this guy was….

Girlfriend, feeling powerful and in charge! The town is hers!

See here? It shows where we were.

Whoa! There they are again…..Jabber was simply fascinated by those workers, employees of the County.

Now, if you think THIS was an exciting day, just wait ’til I tell you about the next day when the Brocanters take the mighty Memphis!


Previous Older Entries