I’m a big banana fan. I have to eat at least one a day. It stumps me how some people do not like this fruit. I’ve been told its fattening, its too sweet, it has a metallic aftertaste, and what not. People… fruit can not get better or simpler than the humble banana. Its not only rich in potassium and manganese, its also the most gentlest of foods for all age groups, be it babies (there’s good reason why its a baby’s first fruit), toddlers, oldies with constipation or the loosies… I could extol the virtues of this food to the moon… and back. Besides, it literally takes one second to peel off the skin. Which fruit gets easier to eat than this? None, none…
Needless to say, I always have bananas in my fruit basket. And I hate wasting it. So last night when I saw a bunch of overripe bananas that no one in the house wanted to eat, I could think of only two uses for them – feed them to the Roses (see, they love bananas too!), or bake a banana cake.
My recent weight loss attempts have left me craving for sweets, so I thought why not cake (to heck with weight loss… there’s more to life, aint it?). The roses could feast on the skins (see, I’m a very very green person). So I got started with the cake. Baking is a fun hobby for me, almost as big a favorite as eating the baked goodies is. Its hard to imagine that two years back I had abandoned all hopes of ever baking a perfect cake when a simple sponge cake turned out like tarred bread. I had vowed never to go back to baking. But my husband (my cake-soulmate) and the birth of my daughter egged me on. I mean, I want my kid to have fond memories of her mum dishing out cake after cake. Thank god I started again. Now the very sight of baking pans at a superstore sends me into a baking-induced shopping tizzy.
So coming back to the cake, I went through the ritual of baking, measuring each ingredient meticulously, mixing and folding the wet and dry ingredients into each other, sprinkling the chocolate chips atop the batter, and at the same time fingering the delectable golden liquid into my mouth… It was orgasmically delicious! I had to keep myself from looking at the oven every two minutes, I just couldn’t wait to pop it out of the oven and sink my teeth into its warm, sugary, chocolaty folds. My two year old too was hopping around, chanting “cake-u, cake-u, cake-u”. Did I mention how proud I am of her? She loves the right things in life (read cake and bananas).
I flew to the oven the moment I heard it ding and there it was – the most perfect banana cake – dark, moist, perfectly risen and speckled with chocolaty goodness.
Then came the toughest part. The wait. I had to let it cool down. So, I set a timer for fifteen minutes and since it was dinner time for my daughter I went into another room to feed her. Actually, I used the dinner time as an excuse to get out of the kitchen or else I would have dug into the cake, ruining it forever.
My timer went off after fifteen minutes, and I came running back into the kitchen in sheer anticipation, imagining myself gently tapping the cake onto a platter and finally…finally cutting a piece of that dark heaven. I stopped dead in my tracks…
There it was, the lizard, the evil, resident pest at my house to whom nothing, absolutely nothing is off-limits. If you’ve known me, you’ll know that as much as I love cakes and bananas, I hate, detest, abhor lizards. I count myself as an animal lover. Even snakes are fine by me. But not lizards. Something happens to me when I see them. They evoke a mixed reaction of fear, disgust and irritation in me. Just thinking about them gives me the goosies. And this particular reptilian (I swear its an alien creature, it knows exactly how to push my buttons. Animals don’t have that much brains) I’d been trying my level best to get out of my house but it finds its way back in every…single…time. And it was dannnnnngerously close to my precious cake on the counter-top!
I was mentally screaming ‘noooo’ at it while trying not to alarm it. I carefully sidled along the wall and grabbed the broom to shoo it way from the cake. At first it won’t budge. It just sat there, squatting, looking at me with those stupid pin point black eyes in its pale, jaundiced head. Then it shifted its head from left to right, literally, like assessing which way to go (I told you they are reptilians!). The cake was to its right and to the left was the refrigerator, and though I didn’t want it going near either of them, I hoped it would lunge to the left. To egg it in the direction of the fridge, I thwacked my broom to the right, beside the cake. It worked! It slithered towards the fridge. “Crisis averted” I thought and breathed out in relief, but just then, my two year old, who is a huge lizzy fan, came running towards the lizard shouting “lizzy, lizzy” and the lizard did a volte face and crawled onto the wall behind the fridge and then rapidly shot towards the underside of the overhead cupboard so that it was almost atop the cake!
Frantically, I tried to shoo it away with the broom again only to have it plop on my precious cake. “Nooooooo! Get off it…get off of it!” I screamed, broom dancing in my hand as I skipped in pure horror and agony. The dumb creature wouldn’t move! It just sat on my cake, stunned! I could see its tiny little chest hammering with exertion and fear. I couldn’t have whacked the cake and the lizard on it. So I tried nudging the bundt pan that still held the cake, only to have the lizard go round and round the bundt pan till it finally figured a way out and slithered towards the fridge with cake laden webbed feet.
I threw the broom down with a vengeance. For several seconds I just stood there in stunned disbelief. My beautiful, precious banana cake was ruined by a wriggling mass of anemic flesh. Then my daughter tugged at the hem of my shirt and said in innocent anticipation “Mumma, cake-u, caku-u”.
I sighed heavily and replied “Baby, we can’t have lizard flavoured cake” and I dumped the cake in the trash.