I found these colorful vintage clickers on ebay. Clickers, according to Wikipedia, consist of a thin piece of metal or plastic “held in a casing so that the metal is slightly torqued; depressing one end of the metal causes it to pop out of alignment and releasing it causes it to pop back into alignment, each time making a sharp click” — kind of like TMJ. During WWII, clickers known as Airborne Crickets, were used by paratroopers of the 101st Airborne to covertly distinguish between friend and foe during the invasion of Normandy. Soldiers would click their cricket once, and receiving two clicks in return signaled friendly troops.
Clickers should not be confused with Clackers, the deadly toy popular in the 1960s and 1970s.
According to Wikipedia, “Clackers were discontinued when reports came out of children becoming injured while playing with them. Fairly heavy and fast-moving, and made of hard acrylic plastic, the balls would occasionally shatter upon striking each other.” Well, duh.
As toys, clickers are cheery and fun — for about a minute. After that, the sound and the child become really annoying. If you ever find yourself with one of those guests who doesn’t know when to go home, just sit a kid next to them with a clicker or two and see how long it takes for them to hightail it out of there.
Of the three clickers, the monkey is my favorite, and the inspiration for today’s recipe. Did you ever sing the “monkey see, monkey do” song with your kids? It went like this:
When you clap clap clap your hands,
The monkey clap clap claps his hands
Monkey see, monkey do,
Monkey does the same as you.
The song is repeated with other actions such as stamp your feet, turn around, and jump up high, until you can stand it no longer, which happens pretty quickly. I think the person who wrote the lyrics, however, probably never saw a monkey at the zoo, for if he had, the refrain would probably be something more like the one I used to sing with the kids:
Monkey see, monkey do,
Monkey flings his poo at you.
Another version, popularized by Michael Scott on The Office, ends with “Monkey pees all over you.” Keepin’ it real.
Monkeys like bananas, right? Actually, monkeys enjoy most fruits, and those who live in banana-growing climates certainly enjoy bananas. I like bananas too, but they tend to blacken faster than we eat them. Whenever I have blackened bananas I think, “Oh, cool, I’ll make banana bread,” and then I never get around to it and soon the fruit flies appear. Gross. Remember ant farms, the gift you hoped your kids would never receive? I think this year I’ll slip a “fruit fly farm” in the kids’ stockings — they’ll be so excited!
Do it yourself “fruit fly farm”
Inspired by the monkey clicker, and the blackening bananas in my fruit bowl, I finally made Banana Macadamia Bread. The recipe is adapted from one I originally saw on Essence of Emeril, back before he “bammed” his way to celebrity chef status. Judging from the number of 4-star reviews the original recipe received, I’m not the only one who loves it. You can alter the amount of bananas and nuts, but I highly recommend using butter instead of shortening for a truly delicious bread.
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (approximately 3 small bananas)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- ½ cup macadami nuts, coarsely chopped
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
- Place butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and using an electric mixer, beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the bananas. Add the baking soda, salt, flour, and cinnamon, and mix thoroughly. Stir in macadamia nuts.
- Pour the dough into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake until top is browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 1 hour. Allow to cool in pan before removing. To remove, place a plate over pan, invert and gently remove pan.
Ready for the oven
Cooling before being removed from the pan
Filling the house with its wonderful aroma
Monkey see, monkey do
Monkey eats banana bread with you.