The Gambler and Banana Bars

The Gambler

Decades ago I impulsively went to a garage sale at a house I drove by on my way to the grocery store twelve miles away. I was looking over the items on a table in the driveway. A man sauntered up to me. He had on a tight-fitting shirt unbuttoned to the middle of his chest. He wore diamond rings on each of his fingers and had gold chains displayed around his neck. He checked his gold watch for the time.

I asked, “Do you live around here?”

He scoffed and said, “Oh, no, I’m from Vegas!”

I then asked, “What do you do in Las Vegas?”

He replied, “Why, I’m a professional gambler.”

I said, “So’s my husband!”

He asked incredulously, “Does he gamble on the Mississippi River Boat?”

I said, “Oh no! He’s a farmer!”

Farming is a gamble. A very scary gamble. A farmer will put all of his work and assets in his or her fields and hope there isn’t a tornado that wipes out the entire investment.

Have you noticed the weather? It’s kinda crazy. As farmers we are obsessed with the weather. We wake to the morning weather broadcast, have a weather radio and subscribe to a weather app on our phones.

We also buy crop insurance. If you are involved in any sort of farm program you are required to purchase it. You buy it if there is a weather disaster. It’s not meant to make money, but to keep you from losing the farm, to lessen the gamble. This is coverage if there is a severe drought, flood or devastating hail, which affects the yield in a large way.

When you sign up for crop insurance, this also predicts which crop you intend to grow in the spring. You then have to commit to what you say you will plant, and certify the acres you planted later in the summer. The Farm Credit Office has a record of what you planted and where you planted it.

You hope to never have to make a claim on crop insurance. Of the fifteen years we have participated, we have rarely claimed on this insurance policy. It represents the worst-case scenario.

Oh, and by the way, we rarely buy lottery tickets. We gamble 24 hours a day 365 days a year. We have enough excitement.

Crop Insurance

Federal Crop Insurance

Banana Bars with Brown Butter Frosting

Banana Bars with Brown Butter Frosting is not a gamble! I guarantee fantastic results every time you make it! It is also a worthy recipe because of its alliteration!  This recipe can serve a large crowd. This recipe is great when you forgot to eat your bananas and there’s some on the counter turning brown. (And no, that’s not the source of the brown in the frosting!)

Banana Bars With Brown Butter Frosting

Tools you will need:

Mixer

Bowl

12X17 Jelly Roll Pan– A MUST have if you cook!

Small saucepan

 For Bars

1 ½ Cups sugar

1 Cup sour cream OR plain yogurt

½ Cup butter

2 eggs

1 ¾ Cup mashed bananas (That’s 3-4 Total)

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 Cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 Cup mini chocolate chips

Grease the jelly-roll pan and preheat oven to 375˚. Cream sugar, sour cream/yogurt and butter in a mixer until smooth. Add eggs, bananas and vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add this to the wet ingredients in the mixer. Pour in chocolate chips. Pour mixture in the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is slightly golden.

Butter Brown Frosting

½ Cup butter

4 Cups powdered sugar (or more if you need it)

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

3 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream

¼ Cup brown sugar

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until it turns an amber color. Be careful not to burn it. Pour the melted butter into the mixer bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix. Spread over the warm banana bars.