Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the last interview I had the opportunity to do face-to-face was 100 Women of Phoenixville with Dodi Shrunk. In the upcoming weeks, one of the 126 weekly interviews that were previously published will be shared with readers. This article was originally published on Nov. 19, 2017.
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.
Born in Arizona, his parents, John & Wendy Kubasko along with his older brother Mitchell recently moved to the Shippensburg area. Nate has deep roots in Pennsylvania. Both John & Wendy come from here. His grandparents Kubasko live near Scranton and his grandparents Mitchell now live in Royersford.
He is what I call my “baby-baby cousin” meaning he is my first cousin twice removed. The whole family calls me cousin-aunt Bette. The story that is when Wendy was a little girl, she was confused that I was her cousin, but I was big like an aunt. So, began the cousin-aunt or better known as CAB started.
For over two years now Nate & 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 mother Wendy is Dr. Wendy Kubasko with a 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 the entrepreneur and 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 is a terrific person. The family is close- knit and enjoy each other’s company and share many adventures.
Nate & 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 & grease either 4 mini-loaf pans or 2 standard sized-loaf pans.
Mash bananas. Blend sugar, butter and bananas together for 2 minutes with a mixer set at low. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder & baking soda. Incorporate flour mixture in to banana mixture & mix on low for 2 minutes. Fold in chocolate chips & pour into pans. Bake at 350-degrees for approximately 40 minutes until golden brown.
UPDATE — Nate is now 14 & is still cooking. He will be starting high school this fall. Nate & his brother Mitchell really enjoy the winter weather in Pennsylvania — especially the snow.