When life gives you lemons you make…Banana Bread!

I keep buying bananas at the store but nobody is eating them. When you are quarantined at home, comfort food is mandatory. My soul is longing for mashed potatoes, hearty soups, homemade bread and pot roast. My soul does not want bananas. 

What do you do with brown mushy bananas? You make banana bread. But I don’t make plain banana bread. I make dense banana bread that has a crunchy layer of turbinado sugar on top of it. It has pecans that I’ve glazed with butter and cinnamon and sugar inside it. And I bake it in a very expensive bread pan.

I’ve admitted to my addiction to Williams Sonoma on this blog in the past. High end cookware was something I deprived myself of for many years. But that changed one day when I walked into Williams Sonoma and purchased my first silicone spatula with a metal handle. Holding the spatula that night as I cooked dinner sparked something in me…it sparked a love of cooking. 

Cooking is my preferred method of meditation. I love to turn on some music, pour myself a glass of wine, and let my whole body experience the art of preparing a meal. It works for me in a way that other types of meditation haven’t.

When I’m cooking I’m not thinking about anything else but cooking. If I get distracted then something gets burned or I cut myself with my knife. 

If the goal of meditation is to become more mindful and aware of the present moment then may I suggest you sharpen your kitchen knives. The sharper your kitchen knife the faster you enter a state of mindfulness.

So while I’ve been home under quarantine I’ve been cooking a lot. I decided to use this time to make recipes that are time consuming, ones that I don’t get to make that often or haven’t attempted before. 

My husband and I have gained some weight but we’ve also had a lot of fun eating my successes and failures. I made my first ever, totally from scratch, chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. It was so rich and delicious I could’ve died right there with pride at what I had accomplished. 

My homemade bread has been made so many times over the past month I don’t even need to look at the recipe anymore. We eat almost the whole loaf every time I make it because its warm and fresh and so damn comforting after you smear a big glob of butter on it. Add some sea salt to the top and you will put yourself in a bread coma.

And then there’s the banana bread…the only reason I can see to buy bananas at all. 

When I started my financial independence journey I felt guilty about my expensive cooking hobby. I felt that I needed to deprive myself of something that brings me joy in the name of saving money. I realized after reading several blogs about frugality that one thing in particular makes frugality easier…pick one area that you don’t have to be frugal in and splurge on it. So I stopped feeling guilty.

I can deprive myself of pedicures, massages, clothing and new books but I melt like butter every time I walk into a high end cookware store. I will not deprive myself of something that brings me so much joy. I fully believe it hones my craft. There are no “hot spots” in my frying pans. My Le Creuset dutch oven will be passed down to my child one day. 

My cookware is an investment that yields dividends on a nightly basis. 

It’s my thing ok. So I’m hoping you can understand why cookware is the reason my “No Spend Year” went to shit during my time at home on quarantine. I made the mistake of going on the William Sonoma website one day and before I even realized what I had done I had made a nonessential cookware purchase, one that I was prohibited to make per my own rules.

This is the second time I have broken my “No Spend Year” commitment while in quarantine. I purchased some board games and a few toys for my daughter, all on the list of items I wasn’t supposed to buy this year. But I’m trying to cut myself some slack because #coronavirus!

The journey to financial independence can be fraught with deprivation and that may be the very reason you reach the end of your journey faster. But you gotta enjoy the journey too. What’s the point if the journey isn’t fun?

I don’t have to tell you how hard being at home for over a month can be because you guys are likely in the same situation. I’m doing everything I can as a mom to make life seem as normal as possible.

I gave myself permission to temporarily end my “No Spend Year” so that I could make our time under quarantine easier. Money is a tool to be used, so I used it. I give you permission to use it too if it makes this more bearable. Do what you need to do to keep everyone from getting depressed or going stir crazy.

In these unprecedented times, when we are deprived of so many freedoms, I chose not to deprive myself of something that brings me joy.

Now…who wants banana bread?

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