Monday, August 2, 2010

Saved by the Bell…& NANA…

Why Nana’s Peach Gingerbread Makes a Great After School Snack

My Nana Network is abuzz with first day of school talk. In a matter of weeks, their grandchildren are hitting the books. It’s fun when we can get involved with shopping for Kleenex, pencils and school uniforms; I have it on good authority that Target sells high quality polos in the school uniform section for just $6 a piece—but clothes aren’t what this post is about. Today I’m writing about that lucky grouping of Nanas who look after their grandkids when school lets out.

You know who you are : ).

Your grandkids’ parents are working full-time and trust you, Nana-Nurturer Extraordinaire, to look after Sally or Junior from the afternoon dismissal bell, ‘till sometime in the early evening. When they arrive at your doorstep (maybe they walk to your house from the bus stop or you pick them up), they’re going to be famished, or at the very least expect a snack.

Now the last thing you want to do is perpetuate the stereotype of what some Nanas have on hand when the grandkids show up hungry—like stale Saltines or a gelatinous, marsh mellow studded blob of Jell-O casserole leftover from a card game. Since this blog is a celebration of hip Nanas who appreciate fun, fresh food, with the nutrients that give you the energy boost to live large together, I shun the idea of packaged Little Debbie snacks or processed jars of trail mix, and encourage you to make your own complex carbohydrate enriched snacks—and ones that smell good as your grandchildren walk through the front door. When they get a whiff of my Peach Gingerbread they’ll think they’ve died and gone to heaven!

I think Peach Gingerbread is the perfect sweet treat to welcome your grandkids home in those first few weeks; it’s late August, after all, and in the waning days of summer it’s nice to celebrate a fruit that’s still in season. Peaches definitely fit that juicy bill, and if you don’t get around to making it until week 5 or 6 of school in late September and beyond, won’t it be fitting to enjoy a gingerbread when the yellow school buses drop off your charges, under trees whose leaves are just beginning to change.

Well, personally, I’m excited thinking about a rich, yummy, buttery gingerbread just as the season begins to change, and I’ve recommended a few more recipes below that have cinnamon scented, hardy and sugary aromas that not only anticipate the coming of Fall, but give you the nutritive little kick you need to turn cartwheels in the falling leaves.

Please feel free to share your memories of visiting your own grandma after school. When I consulted my own Nana Network, one member delighted me sharing a story of how her Nana was “there for her with an apple an a 7-Up” in a moment of need—when she walked home midmorning with a tummy ache and note from the school nurse; as I understand it, her Nana made her a comforting casserole when she stayed on for dinner that warm August night in 1958…we Nanas have come a long way since then and our pantries and cupboards are stocked full and waiting for you. Stay tuned for a future post on perfect pantry staples that’ll earn your daily menus this coming year HIGH MARKS!


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