Some of my biggest challenges happen in the supermarket. Will they have the fish that I want? Will the lines be unending? Will I have to see people I really don’t want to see? Will people who don’t want to see me have to endure the sight of me?
Yesterday, I was trying to get through the store aqap, but I was stymied in the granola bar aisle. I usually purchase some bars of some kind for travel. But I end up feeling all Goldilocksy–some are too soft, some are too hard, and, to be honest, I haven’t come across the just right ones, but I was looking to see if there were any new options.
I noticed someone who I know in the next aisle over on the phone and we waved. I figured that would be safe enough and I wouldn’t have to talk to him. But of course, a few minutes later (while I’m still Buridan-assing over the granola bars) he comes over. He says to me, “I’m sure you hear this a lot, but your husband is amazing.”
Actually I don’t really remember what he said exactly, because I don’t want him thinking I really know why he’s saying it, so I’m trying to feign ignorance. That’s not really hard for me. I don’t really know why he thinks that, but I also probably know enough, only because of the amount of phone calls back and forth between them. So I play along.
“Thanks. I just stand back and let him do his magic.”
Which is true. But yes, we all know that magicians need their assistants, so I guess sometimes I do assist behind the scenes. I’m so happy to let him be in the spotlight.
And then I shared my dilemma of the granola bars and he wished me good luck with my search.
A few minutes later, we caught up again in the next aisle.
“What did you decide?”
“To make my own.”
And so I did.
Banana Oat Bars from thekitchn.com
Makes one 9×9-inch pan
2 large, very ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 cup pitted, chopped dried dates
1/4 cup chopped nuts — such as walnuts, hazelnuts or pecans
Grated nutmeg or cinnamon (optional)
Heat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9×9-inch square baking dish with olive oil or butter.
Peel the bananas and mash their flesh in a medium mixing bowl. Mash very thoroughly until no large chunks remain; the bananas should be essentially liquid. Stir in the vanilla, if using. Add the oats and stir them in. Stir in the salt, dates, and nuts.
Pat the thick mixture evenly into the baking pan. If desired, sprinkle the top lightly with nutmeg or cinnamon. Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges just begin to crisp up.
Place the baking pan on a rack to cool. When the pan is mostly cool, cut into bars and enjoy with a glass of milk or tea.
Shall I tell you now what I changed or do you want to guess?