Sunday, November 30, 2008

Back from Black

November 28 was the day I planned to do something big, something I had never done, something of which other women speak triumphantly about and my curiosity was getting the best of me. Lack of experience would not stop me, I went shopping on "Black Friday". Now the truth is I really didn't need anything. I merely got up predawn on the Friday morning after Thanksgiving to see what the hype was all about.

Friday, thermos in hand I set out in the inky dark, The roads were strangely quiet, and I wondered if I was the only crazy leaving a warm bed for a post turkey bargain. Pulling into the parking lot, one glance reveals, I am not alone. The entire population of the State of California was in that store.

Contrary to what I had heard, the shoppers were not barbarians, they were not beating each other with merchandise or swiping half off toys from strollers. But truthfully, I didn't belong. These were seasoned professionals, organized teams, pack hunters pouncing on door busting bargains. I was flying solo, a want- a -be bargain maverick , who honestly felt more like a shopping desperado. I stiffly moved through the throngs hoping to catch the fever, hoping that something would scream out to me, "hey here I am, you found the Holy Grail, and I'm 50% off"!

There is no competing with pros who have already placed a team member in line to guard their loot and push it along (I actually never saw the line move). So I tell myself,' there is no shame in keeping the few bucks you have for the things you really do need." There are sales and bargains to be had on another day". Most importantly," your thermos is empty, and your bladder is full".

In the end the paltry bag of bargains slung over my shoulder, couldn't convince me to tough out the line, or any lines at any store. Breakfast was sounding better then bargains any way, and I had a chunky monkey waiting for me back at home. Maybe with proper training, or a chance to join a "sale squad" or something, I will brave "Black Friday" again.

IT'S A CAKE!, What did you think I meant? Bake this morning goodie anytime you need something sweet and delicious to lure you back home!

Ingredients: Streusel
1 ¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips
⅔ cup brown sugar
½ cup walnuts chopped
1 tablespoon cinnamon ground
3 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
2 each egg
2 ⅔ cups mashed bananas
6 tablespoons buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter and flour 12" round or 9x13 baking pan.
Stir chocolate chips (about 8 ounces), brown sugar, walnuts and cinnamon in a small bowl (set aside for streusel).

Beat together sugar, room temp butter and egg until fluffy.
Beat in mashed bananas (about 6) and buttermilk.
Sift together all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Blend well.
Spread half cake batter in prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with half streusel mixture.
Spread remaining cake batter and sprinkle with remainder of streusel.
Bake cake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean (appx. 45 minutes)
Cool cake completely before cutting.

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