I’ve spent the better part of this year (my 45th) mourning the loss of my youth. This is hard for me to admit because my concerns are largely aesthetic. Sure there’s an occasional crick in my neck and I do need a stronger prescription every time I get an eye exam, but it’s really the changes in the way my face and body look that are bringing me down. I can’t escape the constant reminders that looking good “for my age” is not the same as simply looking good.
Reminder #1: the Xlerator, those hand-dryers-on-steroids you find in public bathrooms. What that thing does to the skin on my hands blows my mind every single time. How is there that much skin there? And how is it so loose that it can be blown in so many different directions all at once? On really bad days, when I just can’t face the music, I will drip dry (because no matter how vain I am I can’t do paper towels.)
Reminder #2: crossing my arms, a simple gesture I’ve been executing successfully my whole life. Well now it requires careful thought. I have to plan my moves in space first. Because all-of-a-sudden I have a low hanging nipple that can get caught in the crossfire. It seems biologically impossible but I’m here to tell you it is very possible. And you know what? Ouch.
Adding further insult to existential injury is reminder #3: replacing all the pillow covers on my bed. I loved my old covers that had that decorative piping along the edges. But I had to ditch them because if I get a groove in my face from sleeping on that piping it stays there for prettymuchever.
Suffice to say, I’m not a fan of this getting older shit. This is the kind of stuff that could, and until recently HAS, stopped me in my tracks. However, I have decided that resistance, while utterly futile, is still a better course of action than my heretofore Deer-In-Headlights approach. Resistance at least suggests some spirit. Some intelligence. Some resourcefulness. However misguided.
At some point, I’ll let go and enjoy my golden years and gray hairs. The growing resemblance between My Face and The Grand Canyon will magically cease to bother me and I will actively look forward to a small, cold salad for dinner. At 4pm.
This is bound to happen.
Until then, I’ll be cooking my ass off, desperate to outpace this feeling that I’m eroding faster than the jersey shore and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. And when I make something that tastes good, or when I fail spectacularly, I’ll share it here with you. Together, we will bravely battle bitter with butter. Engage ennui with egg whites. And destroy desolation with demi-glace.
Of course we will continue to get older. But maybe we’ll be having so much fun we won’t care.
Toward that end, I have a delicious recipe for banana muffins to share. It’s based on this one by Elise at Simply Recipes.
I tweaked Elise’s recipe a little by using less sugar, egg whites and making it a bit more kid-friendly by leaving out the espresso and the nuts. Here’s my version:
- 2 to 3 overripe bananas, mashed with a fork
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- ½ cup sugar
- 1/3 cup egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 ½ cup unbleached white flour
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Add the melted butter and give it a good stir with a wooden spoon.
- Inhale. Bananas + Butter = Happy Nostrils.
- Stir in the sugar, egg whites and vanilla.
- Add the baking soda and salt. Stir.
- Add the flour and stir until combined.
- Pour into lined muffin tin **while Elise’s recipe makes 12 muffins, mine only goes to 11** and bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
*A note about bananas and their ripeness and how ripe is too ripe?!? One of my bananas was so overripe it was essentially liquid. Horrified, I was about to chuck it and postpone the muffin making to another day. Problem was, I had already melted the butter. And wasting butter makes me sad.
So I Googled “when is a banana too ripe to use” and found the answer is….almost never! Unless you have a fruit fly problem and they laid their nasty eggs in there, you’re good to go. I used my unrecognizable-as-banana banana and the muffins were delicious.