I have a loaf of banana bread in the oven right now. In a few minutes, the warm smell of bananas will begin to fill our home. Shortly after the bread comes out of the oven, my two older children will get home from school. I love nothing more than to have something sweet, warm and yummy fresh from the oven when they get off the bus. I can think of no better homecoming for a child. When I was a kid, and we had homemade chocolate chip cookies in the house, I would think about the cookies on the bus ride home and how I couldn’t wait to take one, pop it in the microwave to soften the chips, and pretend that it was still fresh from the oven.
Back to the bananas…In our family, we like bananas. Bananas plain, bananas on cereal, banana bread, banana pancakes, and bananas in our smoothies. I have not made banana bread in quite sometime. You see, to make banana bread, you ideally need a few overly ripe bananas. Well, since we eat our bananas so quickly, they rarely have the opportunity to become overly ripe. Even if a couple of bananas do become just a bit brownish, my kids begin to nag me to make Chunky Monkey. “What the heck is Chunky Monkey?” you might ask. It is a smoothie that I have convinced myself must be healthy, what with the bananas and milk and all. Here’s what is in a Chunky Monkey smoothie: milk, crushed ice, bananas, peanut butter and chocolate syrup (like Hershey’s) blended very well in a blender. Okay, so it’s not healthy, but it’s not all bad either. You’ve got 3 flavors here that are just meant to be together and be together they are. Depending on the consistency that I get going on any given occasion, the kids will either drink, spoon or slurp through a straw to enjoy this refreshing little treat. I’m not sure why it’s called ‘chunky’ because it’s really quite smooth, unless the original recipe called for chunky peanut butter. No one in my house, except for me, likes chunky peanut butter so I almost never buy it. “Smooth Monkey” just doesn’t have the same endearing sound as “Chunky Monkey” though, so we’ll just stick with what we have come to know and love.