Nate Kubasko is the youngest person I ever featured in one of my interviews. He is 11 going on 42. No matter his age, he is very accomplished.
After he was born in Arizona, his parents, John and Wendy Kubasko, along with his older brother, Mitchell, recently moved to the Shippensburg area. Nate has deep roots in Pennsylvania. Both John and Wendy come from here. His Kubasko grandparents live near Scranton and his Mitchell grandparents now live in Royersford.
He is what I call my “baby-baby cousin,” meaning he is my first cousin twice removed. The whole family call me cousin-aunt Bette. The story that is when Wendy was a little girl, she was confused that I was her cousin since I was big like an aunt. So began the cousin-aunt, better known as CAB.
For over two years now, Nate and I have been food pen pals. At the beginning of each month, I send him a recipe to try out — usually one for baking ,as he is “Nate the Baker.” He is always whipping up a goodie and is very good at it.
Nate and his family are gifted people with many other talents. He loves to draw. He sees baking as a hobby right now and envisions himself doing something “that stretches his brain.”
Along with brother Mitchell, they are settling into their new life and new school. Recently, we met a Fitzwater Station in Mont Clare for lunch. It was so good to see them all and enjoy a good lunch together. At the suggestion of Mitch, we all had birch beer to celebrate. Both Nate and Mitch played flag football in Arizona and are starting a clinic in Pennsylvania for the sport. Both sing in the school choir. In Arizona, the whole family was involved in school musicals and plays.
The reason for the return is Wendy is Dr. Wendy Kubasko with her degree in education. The move to Shippensburg was to become a faculty member and put her talents to the best use — plus to be closer to their parents. John, an entrepreneur who is trying his restart his Blue Suede Studio in the area, is also known as “Mr. Mom” — he has done a great job. Together and individually, each of the four Kubaskos are terrific people. The family is close knit and enjoys each other’s company and shares may adventures.
Nate and Mitch are looking forward to their first winter and large accumulations of snow. When they lived in Arizona, they had to go up into the mountains and never were able to build a snowman larger than 18 inches. Rain is also a novelty to them as the yearly average rainfall in Arizona is about 8 inches.
He has modified his recipe for banana chocolate chip bread over the years. I know it is delicious, as he gave one to me at our lunch. Now that we live nearby, hopefully we will get to bake together.
NATE’S BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP BREAD
3 ripe bananas
½ cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup sour cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease either four mini-loaf pans or two standard sized-loaf pans. Mash bananas. Blend sugar, butter and bananas together for two minutes with a mixer set at low. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and baking soda. Incorporate flour mixture into banana mixture and mix on low for two minutes. Fold in chocolate chips and pour into pans. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40 minutes until golden brown.
Let me hear from you: email@example.com. Search YouTube for “Look Who’s Cooking with Bette Banjack,” as well phoenixvillenews.com (search bar: Banjack) for this column. Find Bette on Facebook by searching “Bette Banjack’s Downtown Kitchen.”