Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Banana Bread Loaf and an Early Morning Walk

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Sometimes on my morning walks, I hardly notice a thing.  My mind is so immersed in thoughts of past, present, and future issues the rumble and roll around in my head.  
Not this morning.  

Patrick was home baking a loaf of banana bread.  I thought I would get an early start on the day by taking a long walk.  Really,  it was justification for cutting myself a thick slice of this delicious bread when I returned.

On this early summer morning, this pair greeted me on the lake.  They silently presented themselves in such enchantment and grace that words just cannot describe.

Their movements were so in tuned with one another that all I could do is stare and sigh.  If you have ever seen the ballet "Swan Lake" one of the most sought after achievements of the ballet is to have a stage of dancers moving in complete harmony.  Now I could see where that idea came from.

So much has been going through my mind this year.  I've entered my forties.  My children are at cross roads with life changes of their own.  Moving to the south as brought back wonderful memories of living in the well as very sad ones.

While standing there watching the powder white swans softly glide through the cool morning water, two other people stopped with me to stare as well.  

Between the three of us, we didn't share the same language or culture, but we sighed and smiled at each other in recognition of this beautiful scene before us.  

There was  a definite bond and agreement that we sensed.  I almost wanted to hug these two people as we slowly moved on our own ways a few minutes later.  

Maybe I should have.

Even with so many thoughts running through my head so early in the morning, I knew these swans were here to whisper into my fogged mind something I needed to hear.  
"Look at the beauty around you" they softly encouraged.  "Live for the here and now.  Don't dwell on the past and worry about the future".

I still see the swans at the lake on occasion.  I'm going to visit with them again.  Soon.

Have you ever looked into a swan's eyes?  They seem to hold serious wisdom in their eyes.  They have a powerful stare that speaks volumes when you dare to look and think about what words they might say.

We enjoyed that delicious banana bread that morning.  I think of the swans almost daily.  

Slow down.  
Live in the present.  
Worry less about the past.  
Stress not about the future.  
Things like warm toasted banana bread fresh out of the oven.

Patrick's Banana Bread Loaf

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.


  1. Sarah, this post is so beautiful! The banana bread is, of course, delicious looking and inviting... but your words were just as sweet. Thank you for the reminder that we all need to slow down and enjoy the present.


  2. Beautiful birds, beautiful bread, beautiful post. It has been quite a year, hasn't it?

    All we can ever hope to do is be abe to live with the grace that allows us to savor each moment as it comes: You seem to be doing just that.

  3. What a beautiful way to start the day...

    I'm jotting down your recipe...brown sugar? I bet it's wonderful!

  4. Oh Sarah, your images and words captured the swans beauty, grace, and wisdom so well. I love when God sends gifts like that to us in the most unexpected...yet most perfect way. The heart is always comforted and it's as if you've been given a very special and knowing hug, such a blessing.
    I have 'rotting' bananas on my counter as-we-speak and Banana Bread was just the thing they were intended for...I'm going to try your recipe instead of the one I usually use. I could use a little comfort myself just now and since there aren't any swans in the vicinity, this bread will do the trick just fine!
    xoxo J~

    (I just posted my Blue Dog post...I love that you know about her/him, I'm looking forward to your post!)

  5. That is the only way I eat banana in a loaf like this.I am touched by so much elegance in this birds:)

  6. Beautiful Images - what a beautiful morning and beautiful banana loaf for that matter. Perfect with a dollop of real butter I think.

  7. Im sure you know quite how many banana bread recipes there are out there, but im really being serious when i think i like the look of yours one of the best :) it looks so pure and with the perfect crumb, a good basic recipe to fiddly around with as well i would have thought. Hope to give it a try sometime, lovely post :)

  8. You've captured the swans beautifully! As for your banana loaf: it's perfect!

  9. You took me there by the lake with your beautiful post!! The photos captured your morning walk and thoughts so beautifully...and these swans do look graceful and in sync too...glad I was able to look into the swans eyes thru your eyes!

    Have a blessed day today :) Great start to the day for sure!

  10. Beautiful pictures!!!!

  11. Your photos are beautiful and the words ... well I guess you can say that I needed to hear all that you wrote. Happy weekend:)

  12. Gorgeous post - AND you have inspired me to get up and walk tomorrow morning! Thanks :))

  13. What a magical walk to enjoy and to be inspired by. And best yet, what a treat to be greeted with fresh-baked banana bread on the arrival home. ;)

  14. This looks amazing. I will be making banana bread very soon!!!

  15. Ohhh....that picture of the swan with the sun sparkle at the end of his beak? That is perfection.
    Oh, and the feet close up that one too.

  16. I have made your recipe several times and it is great! I have also played with it a bit. Added cinnamon, vanilla, sometimes walnuts. one time i Forgot I was out of eggs, used 1/4 cup greek yogurt for each egg. It was amazing!!! super tender, and more like a moist cake.! Thank you!!


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