Last Wednesday night, my mom flew into Arizona to spend four days with me.
This wasn’t a social visit or an excuse to hang out with the grandbabies.
She came to help me paint three bedrooms.
(Aren’t you so jealous you aren’t my mother?).
I’ve felt so stalled out on house projects because the stained and worn green carpet that covers 3/4 of the house needed desperately to be replaced, but there was no way I was putting in new carpet until the rooms were painted because I wasn’t about to paint over brand-new carpet.
Of course, that required me to figure out what exactly I wanted to do with several of these rooms so I could actually paint them (so far, Bart and I had repainted four rooms and done them all. . . white).
A few weeks ago, my mom booked plane tickets and said, “I’ll be there in three weeks and we can paint three rooms. Figure out what you want to do before I get there.”
And so, when she showed up Wednesday night, I had my rollers and my first cans of paint ready.
When she flew home last night, we’d finished all the painting, hung curtains in two of the three rooms, put the furniture back, sold the extra furniture items on Craigslist and even hung some bookshelves in my office as a bonus.
I am in awe of how much better these rooms look now that they are no longer neon mint and sky blue with burgundy and cream stripes (if you’d decided you wanted to paint the ugliest possible rooms, you couldn’t have done much better than these. Combined with a mishmash of too much furniture, it was just a set of the worst rooms you’ve ever seen).
Anyway, in addition to helping me transform half my house, she also said on Saturday morning after two days of me saying that I needed to make banana bread before my bananas all died, “Let me entertain the girls while you make some banana bread.”
And then once it was in the oven, we painted the last two walls of Ani’s room in the time it took to bake.
If there’s a better reward for finishing than a warm loaf of banana bread, I have no idea what it is. (Someone to wash the brushes and throw away the paint sticks and tray liners. That someone is my mom).
And even if you haven’t spent three straight days painting, this banana bread is still delicious.
My Very Favorite Banana Bread
(slightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 very ripe bananas, peeled
4 tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a standard-size loaf pan and set aside.
In a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, the bananas (no need to mash them beforehand), the buttermilk and the vanilla. Mix until well-combined.
Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then mix until just combined.
Pour into your loaf pan and bake until the top is browned and a toothpick comes out cleanly, 60-75 minutes.
Let cool in the pan and then remove carefully, slice, and serve.