My grandmother buys single bananas. She feels bad for them, because she thinks they look lonely, so she rescues them and takes them home. I used to think she sounded crazy, but then I saw a banana sitting all by itself on a big rack at the grocery store and all of the other bananas were in bunches and the shelf was pretty picked over so the solo banana looked stranded in the middle of the great wide open. And I thought about it, and I decided that I really NEEDED the single banana in addition to a bunch, because it was a little more ripe and I would probably want it a little earlier than the others, and I was doing this because it was right for ME and NOT because I think the banana looks lonely because that’s crazy, but also the thought of just leaving that little banana all by itself made me sad and jeez louise when did I become the crazy lady who sympathy-purchases fruit?
Unfortunately, this practice has spread to other fruits, even savory ones. All summer long, I saw huge zucchini at the market and I craved zucchini bread. But I was busy and then all of a sudden the zucchini looked small and sad, and I wondered who would ever want them? And, with that, Solo Banana Syndrome struck, and I found myself checking out with a bag full of pathetic zucchini, even though the air is crisp and the leaves are turning and summer has indisputably gone.
It was fine, though, because I used my Charlie Brown zucchini to make this delicious bread — filled with pecans and cranberries — to celebrate the transition from summer to fall. The bread was perfect warmed in a skillet for breakfast on chilly mornings — the nuts get all toasty, and the cranberries extra sweet. Summer is my favorite season, and this year it was particularly great!
We had a whirlwind of wonderful events. The Boyfriend and I moved to Brooklyn (where we did not have and still do not have a rat infestation), he started a new job, I got a new office, we zipped back and forth to Texas and the beach almost every weekend and — most excitingly — we got engaged! Turns out he had been planning it for a while, and I was completely clueless. So now we’re deciding if he’s going to be The Fiance or The Ex-Boyfriend, and having a ton of fun planning our wedding. I will share the whole Proposal Story another time (and trust me, it’s a good one!), but for now, just suffice it to say that this Crazy Fruit Lady has finally found her Solo Banana, and we’re really excited to live happily ever after.
- 3 eggs
- 1 c. vegetable oil
- 1¾ c. sugar
- 2 c. grated zucchini (about 2-3 zucchinis, depending on the size)
- 2 t. vanilla extract
- 3 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 T. cinnamon
- 1 t. nutmeg
- 1 t. allspice
- 1 t. baking powder
- ½ t. baking soda
- 1 t. salt
- ½ c. pecans, or other nuts
- 1 c. dried cranberries
- Spray an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick spray and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, sugar, zucchini and vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Stir in nuts and cranberries, and then stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients about ⅓ at a time.
- Pour the batter into the baking dish, and bake until a knife comes out clean, about 75 minutes.