Wednesday, November 11, 2009

neighborhood hero

Because it's Veteran's Day and because I'm lucky enough to live just 3 doors down from a true American hero, I decided to rerun my very first post that features this incredible World War II veteran.

Three rotten bananas sit on my kitchen counter. The perfect number for a loaf of banana bread. I decide to share this loaf with some of my neighbors, reserving the ends for me and Sadie. We wrapped each slice simply in wax paper and set out. A centenarian known affectionately as Dr. Gene, is our first delivery. He's a busy guy with a great disposition. He was a music professor at a local university. In an earlier life he stormed the beaches of Normandy and loved his wife Dorothy. He plays his piano and walks our neighborhood every day. He is a talented and noble man who elevates our neighborhood.
Lila, Tom, Lori, Joy, Geneva. Five more deliveries. Kind phone calls within the hour. "A little banana bread fairy left something on my porch!"
Veteran, caregiver, teacher, widow, retiree, young woman.
Three rotten bananas = six happy neighbors.

Here is my favorite banana bread recipe, courtesy of Anne Besser

Moist and Delicious Banana Bread

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. sour cream
1 c. overly ripe bananas (approximately 2-3)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together sugar and butter. Add eggs and mix until combined. Sift together flour, salt and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture. Add sour cream, vanilla and smashed bananas; mix thoroughly. Grease either one large or two small loaf pans. Fill pans and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.


  1. Hey Shari,

    Really enjoyed reading your blog! Very witty and I love the cute stories about your girls. Hope to see you next week bright and early at TCS.

    Maureen (Galleria)

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Loved your blog today. Made me almost cry. I, too, have a wonderful neighbor that served in WWII. He is kind, compassionate and thinks nothing of how well he served our country. I do admire him very much. Thanks Shari, for giving back to your neighbors, and for remembering our veterans. Sue

  4. Shari - What a lovely and heartfelt post. You are always so so kind to people! I love that about you. Congratulations to your neighbor and so nice of you to take the time. I am sure it meant so much to them.

    I would love for you to share about your garden club - those are some of my favorite stories - covered dishes hot and cold. Love it.

    You are the best! ann

  5. Shari,
    You have inspired me to make some banana bread...I love your story. And that recipe, my eyes teared up to see you still use is a little insider special ingredient to share.
    Sprinkle a little bit of granulated sugar on top of the batter before you bake the bread. It makes a nice, crunch sweet crust.
    Anne Besser

  6. Anne, thanks so much for writing. It's just great to hear from you. Your banana bread has always been my favorite.
    thanks for the tip to elevate it even more!

  7. anne, the above comment was actually from me, not fashionista, aka sophie. thanks so much for reading.

  8. sue, i'm happy you liked the story. i have lots of great neighbors, and mr. e happens to be one of my favorites. i love how he still has elections placards in his yard. he and dorothy were very civic minded people and great advocates for the children of this city. you'll have to remind me of your neighbor who's the veteran.....

  9. Ann, more neighborhood fun to come when i go to the xmas garden club meeting! thanks for your always nice comments ann.

  10. I love banana bread and the recipe you have told in here is so simple

    Will try in my kitchen this weekend :)


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