August 5, 2012

Learning and Lemon Banana Bread

We've had quite an interesting week learning new things from and about our boys. They are so very different, and were born with so much of their personality just built in! Having only one brother and three sisters, I didn't know much about boys. Stephen and his 5 brothers, while each possessing distinct personality traits, are all very similar. When you meet them, you are left with no doubt they are brothers. But my boys are just so different from each other! Little Stephen is very emotional, dramatic, and easily distracted. I know it's awful, but we've nicknamed him the "Drama Queen"! (I know, I know, I'm a terrible mother. But he IS!)
Joe is very driven, independent, and STUBBORN. Seriously, he is the most stubborn person, not just child, I have ever met! The kid could give rocks and old tree roots lessons on frustrating immovable-ness.
Last week, through a series of errors, we didn't make it to church. I felt bad, so while driving home from my uncle's house, we listened to a presentation of church leaders sharing their testimonies of Jesus Christ. It was lovely, telling the boys which leader was speaking. When it was done, little Stephen asked if we could listen again. We were surprised, but of course! About halfway through, I looked back... and he was crying! I  asked him what was wrong, and he said, "It's just so beautiful it makes me cry!!" Wow. How's that for a big feeling for a 6-year-old to have! We had a wonderful talk about Christ and the Spirit, and Joe piped in with, "President Monson is my FAVORITE!"

The biggest surprise of this experience is that Stephen is not the spiritual one. Joe is! He constantly talks about making Jesus happy, is very serious about his prayers, he keeps it in mind all the time. But today, Stephen wanted to bear his testimony! He thought of his own words, I wrote them down for him so he wouldn't get flustered up there all by himself. When he sat back down he declared, "I want to do that over and over!!" Poor Joe, already having a very rough day, was heartbroken that he couldn't. He hates that he can't read or write like Stephen. But we had a good talk, and he is going to practice, so he can get up all by himself soon.

I love it when my children teach me. Isn't that how we should view sharing our testimonies? As something to be desired, to be excited for, to want to do "over and over"? I wish I did. I must admit I am looking forward to leaving the cocoon of BYU and being in the real world, hoping it will challenge me to share more often. Until then, I can look for moments to share it with my boys.

Aaaaand speaking of sharing, I will now share with you my favorite Banana Bread recipe!! (How's that for transition!)
Lemon Banana Bread (adapted from Jan Karon's Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader)
Printable Recipe

2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
3 very ripe bananas, smashed with a fork
lemon zest from 2 lemons
(You can also add a cup of chopped walnuts. My menfolk hate nuts :(

Preheat oven to 350. Line and or grease a loaf pan, set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar till fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well after each. Add yogurt, lemon zest and juice, vanilla, and bananas. Mix well. Add the flour mixture and stir until just blended. (Add nuts here if you like)
Pour batter into pan and bake for 50-60 minutes. (I ran out of parchment so I used foil. Parchment is way better.) Cool bread in the pan on a wire rack for a few minutes, then remove. Serve warm, with a bit of butter. Yum!
Have you read the Mitford books by Jan Karon? If not, you should, they're fantastic. They are about Father Tim, the rector of a small town in North Carolina filled with lovable characters. The books are cozy, friendly, warm, and even inspirational. And full of yummy food. If you have, YES!! There is a COOKBOOK!! (Once you read them, you will understand why that had to be bold, italic, and underlined) Remember the famous marmalade cake?? I've made it!!
Like the Cardamom Lime Zucchini Bread I made a while ago, this is one of those that erases all other recipes. I've been making my banana bread with a hint of lemon for a few years now, this is my favorite banana bread ever. It really is that good!
I know what you're probably thinking, I get quite a few puzzled looks about this one, but really, lemon and banana really DO go together!! It isn't a strong lemon flavor, you could almost say it is "scented" with lemon. It is light and sweet and yummy. I love it lots and lots.
PS- the list of recipes I had at the side was getting a bit long, (which is good!) and was taking up lots of space, so I will just put a few of my favorites at a time. Hope that is okay!


  1. That is just the most precious thing! I love, love, love children's testimonies. They are so sweet and pure.

  2. I have a feeling my little brothers and your darling sons would get along splendidly! Let's get them together!!

    Thank you for linking up again, April! I love that you include food recipes in your posts about life. What a beautiful experience to have with those boys, too!

    Love you, lady! :)

  3. That looks like a fabulous banana bread April. Banana bread is always soooo good. I love what you shared about your boys. You are so blessed to be able to bring your children up in the Gospel. That was not a choice that was open to me, and I will always feel it's loss. Hoping one day that my babies all come round and trusting in the Lord on that one! You have sweet boys. xxoo

  4. BY THE WAY. I awarded you on my blog today!!!

  5. I can vouch for the deliciousness of this bread! And I miss your sweet boys!


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