Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sex and Suburbia, With Nuts or Without

Sex and Suburbia, With Nuts or Without
By Julie Stankowski

Do you think I’m talking about banana bread? I’m not, although I’ll be happy to share my fabulous recipe with you at the end of my story.

I am talking about families. Does every one contain a nut or two? I don’t know when I first realized that the answer to this question is yes. You know, I heard about crazy Aunt Ida who walks around repeating the word “cadoo” all the time (what the hell is cadoo? Is it a noun or a verb?). I heard about the ultra weird cousin who thinks cartoons are inappropriate for children, not because watching television is bad, but because cartoons are really made for adults and contain far too much adult content for any child to witness (okay, I have seen enough Barney episodes to know this cousin is koo-koo). And I heard about the great uncle who thinks that cell phones were invented by terrorists for the sole purpose of causing people brain cancer.

But I thought that these wacky, distant relatives were just that, wacky and distant. I have now come to realize how wrong I’ve been. In fact, I have come to realize that nuts are sprinkled all over not just the banana bread in our houses, but the pumpkin bread, the cereal, the yogurt and even the chocolate cake. I never realized nuts were so prevalent. Actually, I thought many people were allergic to nuts. Maybe they really are. And maybe the overwhelming number of nuts out there is what has caused such severe allergic reactions we so often see. By allergic reactions, I mean depression, resentment and family feuds.

I now see that Xanax, Ativan, Prozac and Zoloft are really allergy medications dispensed to those who are severely allergic to nuts. But where have all of these nuts come from? Perhaps when we were looking at our first ultrasound pictures during pregnancy and saw that little thing on the screen that looked like a peanut in our tummy, we internalized that picture and actually gave birth to a nut. Perhaps Wal-Mart had Planters peanuts on sale so often that they were ingested ad nauseum and actually got into people’s blood streams causing them to become nuts. Or maybe I have too much time on my hands and have been watching too much sci-fi TV and am creating these ridiculous scenarios to somehow try to explain why there are so many crazy people out there!

Suffice it to say, whatever the cause, we’re dealing with an epidemic. So, other than taking allergy medication, how do we deal with all of the cashews, pecans and macadamias floating around? First, we try to help, right? We offer a hand, a shoulder, an ear, basically any body part we can manage. It doesn’t work. Next, we surf the net and offer information, possible solutions, support groups, names of institutions. It doesn’t work. So, we give money. That doesn’t work either. A nut is a nut is a nut and there does not seem to be a way to transform a nut into anything other than a nut. I mean we can make a peanut into peanut butter, but it still contains nuts.

Here is my conclusion. Instead of letting all of the nuts make you nutty, look at the bright side of the nut infestation. You don’t have to Tivo your soap operas. Reality is more interesting than fiction any day. Recent studies show nuts are good for your heart. If you have extra bolts lying around, you don’t have to go to the hardware store to buy nuts. Without pine nuts, you wouldn’t have pesto sauce. An ice cream sundae would not be complete without the nuts on top. And, with all of the nuts around, you will always have cute squirrels in your backyard.

Okay, as promised, my famous banana bread recipe, nuts optional:


½ cup melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
5 Tbs sour cream
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 cups sifted flour
3 mashed bananas
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter, eggs and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together sugar, baking soda, salt and flour. Add to egg mixture. Add bananas and walnuts. Mix well. Put into a greased bread pan and bake for 1 hour. Enjoy!


sue said...


Mel said...

Julie, I love reading your blogs. Thank you for giving me the precious gift of laughter. Melanie

jennifer said...

Hi Julie,
Great stuff!I also love your banana bread recipe- I will try it tomorrow.

Marc said...

Keep 'em coming...very funny stuff.