Best-Ever Banana Bread

Graduation rehearsed – check!
Graduation gown ironed – check!
Family arrived – check!
Gifts purchased – check!
Graduation tickets procured – check!
Reservations made for post-graduation dinner – check!

If you hadn’t already guessed, it’s graduation weekend. My parents have been visiting for the last two days, and my brother and part of his family will soon be joining us. It’s kind of a big deal for us since Jacob is our one and only to go through this rite of passage. It seems impossible that we have a soon-to-be high school graduate in our home. What seems so fresh in my mind is Jacob in the cardboard graduation cap his preschool teacher cut out for him. But then here in front of me is this young man.

How did 18 years go by this fast?

In my mind’s eye, just like yesterday, I can see him in his dinosaur shirt, walking into his preschool for the first time. I see him on the basketball court as a third grader. I see him on his 10th birthday at a Cardinals game when his favorite player hit a home run. I see him tucked in bed, refusing to let me turn off his bedside light until he’s asleep.

This is what family is all about. This tapestry of memories. I remember things about him and his life that he cannot recall. And someday, I hope, he’ll have the same experience as a father watching his children grow up.

He got his dorm assignment today. And it’s all becoming real to me. His leaving home, just like that first day of preschool so long ago. We walked up to the door together, one of the first students to arrive. I took his picture as he looked up at me with innocence and confidence. He was ready.

And now he’s ready again. He’s ready to walk into his future, whatever that may hold. He’s ready. But am I?

Oh dear, I think I’d better take tissues to Sunday’s ceremony.

Best-Ever Banana Bread

To say I’m fond of banana bread would be an understatement. Year-round, I keep frozen bananas on hand, just in case a banana bread mood strikes. I told you awhile back about my mother-in-law’s banana bread recipe. It doesn’t exactly fit within my healthy eating guidelines as it’s laden with oil and sugar. But hey, we can all have some indulgence every once in awhile–as long as we stay on track most of the time.

Cheryl D.’s recipe is similar, but instead of using all oil, she calls for a 1/2 cup of oil (I used canola) and 1/4 plus 1 T of buttermilk. Since I didn’t have any buttermilk on hand and it was a spur of the moment decision to make the banana bread, I used regular milk.

It came out great. I just had a sliver as I’ll serve the majority of it tomorrow at breakfast. But of course, I had to taste it. Cook’s prerogative and all that.

I’m serving it with Karen O.’s egg casserole recipe, which I made already and is in the refrigerator, ready to cook tomorrow morning.

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