Everyone I know has gained weight - up to fifteen pounds - during the coronavirus lock-down.  Here's the main culprit in my house: Rachel Ray's Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.  So easy to make, so quick to eat.

Rachel Ray's Chocolate Chip Banana Bread


    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    3 bananas, mashed (1 cup mashed banana)
    1 cup chocolate chips


Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.

Grease and flour a 8 1/2-inch x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan (or use baking spray).

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the oil, bananas, and eggs. Stir in the chocolate chips (do not over-mix!) and pour into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60-80 minutes. Cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool completely, right side up.



Many of my friends have traveled to China, but I never want to step foot in a country that eats dogs and cats for dinner.  Imagine a place that has a dog meat festival, like the city if Yulin.  OK, call me a hypocrite.  I don't eat pork or lamb but I have to confess that on occasion I enjoy my son's amazing kobe burgers and spare ribs - and feel guilty with every bite. I"m working on this and give money to PETA to make up for this transgression.  But dalmatians and golden retrievers in open markets?  Come on.  Maybe the coronavirus pandemic will change Chinese minds about the consumption of companion animals, and there is evidence of small changes as middle class Chinese take in poodles and Border collies as pets. But change is slow.  And human behavior is consistent.  So in this lifetime, I'm staying out of China. For the record, Vietnam and other countries are equality guilty of such horror.  I'm not going there either. 

Who among us remembers the Ladies Menu, when upscale restaurants only listed the prices for men since it was assumed they paid the dinner bill when out with a woman.  I loved it, but as the Buddhists tell us, everything changes and ends.  This custom ended in mid-July, 1980, when a lady named Kathleen Bick wanted to treat her business partner, Larry Becker, to dinner.  She took him to an elegant French restaurant called L'Orangerie in LA, where she was handed a white menu to Mr. Becher's green one. The veal medallion was 28 dollars, which today would be about 82 dollars. The pair were so outraged by this quaint habit that they left the restaurant without eating.  They immediately called a lawyer, Gloria Allred, a well-known feminist attorney.  The restaurant was charged with discrimination and they demanded an injunction to end the dual menu practice.  They also wanted the state to revoke the restaurant's liquor license.   Ms. Bick said the restaurant experience made her feel "humiliated and incensed."  To make her point, Ms. Allred and her clients set up a table outside L'Orangerie, laid with a linen tablecloth, gold plates, silverware, and a vase with a rose in it. The restaurant of course caved in to the litigation and ended their wicked ways. The suit against L'Orangerie was dropped.  What troubles me most about the story is that there are so few elegant French restaurants around today. My favorite when I was a young woman was LaPanetiere and later Le Bec-Fin.  I got the price-free menu.  Which means I had great boyfriends.