Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Moon Landing, Bowling, Gregory Peck,

Today is the anniversary of the first landing on the moon. I didn’t remember that, a friend reminded me. I so remember the excitement although first hubby and I were in a taxi in, what was then called Yugoslavia, taking a taxi to the airport and the driver had the report on the radio. Unfortunately although the report was in English, the voice over was, of course, Yugoslavian, so we had trouble hearing what was going on. We had been cruising on my father’s boat and had had no idea what was happening before getting into the cab. The cabbie was surprised we didn’t have a TV on the boat.

Yesterday was our summer league bowling banquet, basically lunch at the alley before we bowled a couple of fun games. The second of these games was our uBowling Pinssual bingo which I always enjoy. Not yesterday, I was throwing strike after strike and I didn’t want them. As I said to a friend, I never thought there would come a time when I would say “oh sh*t” when I threw a strike. In bingo you have to throw all kinds of different combinations and our team got stuck on 6 and 9 which are very difficult to throw. To remind you, to get 9 you have to hit each corner pin and the middle pin only. To get 6 you have to knock down the two pins on either side of the middle one. Nothing else. In fact Matt’s team won the bingo. As they had already won the league that was very unfair of them, *g*. We don’t start league bowling again until August 30. We will obviously miss a couple of weeks in September as we are going to be in North Carolina. There we will probably have a couple of games of 10 pin. We did last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. No doubt we will play the odd game here and there at another alley which will be open more than the alley we usually use.

Last night we watched a couple of Gregory Peck movies, the first was Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. and then a lesser known movie Captain Newman M.D. both excellent. Hornblower I had seen a couple of times before, I have always been a big fan and still have all the books. I hadn’t seen the second movie but thoroughly enjoyed it, Tony Curtis was in it too and was a pretty funny character. The movie is about work in a Air Force ward for troubled patients. Gregory Peck was a psychiatrist who was torn by the fact that he worked to cure people in order to send them back to war to get killed. There were some very funny moments as well as some traumatic ones. If you get the chance to see it, I highly recommend it. Mind you, I always loved Gregory Peck whatever he starred in. I discovered last night that he actually took the time and trouble to study whatever he was doing, for instance he learned sword fighting and navigation etc. for the Hornblower movie and he worked with psychiatrists and went on rounds with them for the Captain Newman M.D. movie.

I used to make banana bread all the time although I would only eat the occasional slice, Matt loved it. I don't know why I haven't done so for so long. This one is from Cooking.com which is a somewhat different banana recipe.

Banana Cake with Coconut-Cream Frosting

Source: Eating Well

Combining traditional flavors with modern sensibilities, the creamed butter and sugar have been replaced with a simple meringue in this moist, luscious cake.

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 6. Wrap cake layers in plastic wrap, then foil and freeze for up to 3 months.

For the Cake:

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see IngreBanana Cake with Coconut-Cream Frosting Recipe at Cooking.com

dient note)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons Baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

1 large egg white

1 large egg separated

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 1/2 cups sugar, divided

1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2 large)

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk

For the Coconut-cream frosting:

1/3 cup unsweetened coconut chips or flaked

12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

Ingredient Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour is milled from soft wheat. It contains less gluten than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure a tender result in delicate baked goods while providing the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Available in large supermarkets and in natural-foods stores. Store in the freezer.


FOR THE CAKE: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Dust lightly with flour, shaking out the excess (or use cooking spray with flour).

Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, swirling, until it turns a nutty brown, 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, increase speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff but not dry (this can take up to 5 minutes).

Combine the melted butter, egg yolk, remaining 1 cup sugar, bananas, oil and vanilla in a large bowl. With mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and buttermilk; beat until just blended. Beat in a heaping spoonful of the whites. Using a whisk, fold in the remaining whites. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake the cake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto the racks and let cool completely.

FOR THE FROSTING & TO ASSEMBLE CAKE: Toast coconut in a pie pan at 350 degrees F until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes.

Combine cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and coconut extract in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy.

Frost the cake, using a little less than half the frosting between layers and the rest on the top. Garnish with the toasted coconut.

Have a great day



  1. It was said that when the Pecks left the Cote d'Azur and returned to the States, many other celebs also left. Of course, it is a different story down there these days; the celebs now being people like Elton John and Johnny Depp. I wonder if they had even heard of Gregory Peck.

  2. I would imagine they must have, but they wouldn't know him like we do.