When my brother was a little boy, he had a teacher who asked her students to write in their journals every morning. My brother wrote about the weather.
Every day, without fail, when asked to write in their journals, he wrote about the weather.
Finally, the teacher approached my mother.
“I’m very concerned” the teacher said, “he’s doesn’t write about anything else but the weather.”
A veteran to the school system, and to some of the narrow-minded viewpoints within it, my mother replied, “So?”
“I think it could be a problem.” The teacher said.
Oh how little some can see.
Suffice it to say, my brother continued to write about the weather that year.
It’s not that my brother had nothing else to say, or was somehow a social outcast as may have been suggested.
My brother is a scientist.
An environmental scientist.
My brother was a little boy who was a scientist then, too.
And this is what the teacher didn’t see, what the teacher couldn’t understand in that moment: he wrote about the weather because he loved it. He wrote about the weather because he wanted to follow its progress and know and learn more about it. He wrote about the weather the way some people sing. He wrote about the weather the way some people write or do sports or play music. He wrote about the weather because it was who was.
I think we find our purpose and our passions when who we are - the very essence of ourselves - collides with a form of expression that fits us.
My brother is a scientist. I am a baker. We're all looking for that moment, I think. That moment when who we are collides with what we do. Some people do it in their jobs and some people do it as their hobbies and some people are still searching to find it. But it comes to all of us in different ways, at different moments and in different packages.
Sometimes, it just depends on the weather.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts, and pour into prepared pan.
Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.