So Good to Be Home Again!

Family vacations. Does this bring back memories for you, too?

I remember the many driving trips to visit friends & relatives while I was growing up at home – and some of them are my favorite childhood memories. My dad was a sort of “Clark W. Griswold” before it was cool – and and took it upon himself to take us to some adventuresome places – including Wall Drug… We never made it to Wally World, but we sure did have some good times. (If I had pics handy, I’d definitely post them!)

The scenery is beautiful – driving through Cincinnati, OH (one of the prettiest cities I’ve ever seen) and Lexington, KY (one of the greenest parts of the country I’ve ever seen) is my favorite part of the trip! One of these days we’ll stop and take some time to enjoy the area more.

The girls were SO good and traveled so well! We looked for cows and horses. Saw sheep and goats and even some deer. We loved the scenery! It was nice to see more evidence of Spring the further south we drove!

It was also really nice having Mamaw along on our trip, too. Curly & Georgie really enjoyed having a captive audience…

Being “the mom” now, driving trips aren’t quite what they used to be, but they can still be really enjoyable. Our trip to visit relatives in Southeast Kentucky was something to remember – not because we spent tons of money or visited some overpriced tourist sites. Nope – it was because we sang songs along with Bob the Tomato & Larry the Cucumber (sometimes at the top of our lungs) and sat on Mommy Reynolds’ Front Porch Swing while the sun shined.

Mommy Reynolds

Mommy Reynolds is the family matriarch – 96 years old and SHARP as a tack! Biblically grounded with a sparkle in her eye, Mommy raised 5 daughters in the Kentucky hills and hollows, married to the same man for almost her entire life. I never got to meet Poppy Reynolds, but the stories I’ve heard sure make me wish I had!

Not to mention that Mommy really enjoyed the Amish Friendship Bread I took along. What a nice treat!

Life in southeastern Kentucky, where my husband Roy’s parents grew up and where much of his extended family lives, is very simple. Sure, there are satellite dishes and cell phones – but it’s a place where people can slow down and enjoy time together with family on the front porch.


Watching our girls play together – with distant cousins – and just “getting away” was so beneficial for us. The girls adjusted really well to meeting many new people throughout our long weekend, and they played well together, too. (That’s one of my favorite parts of my growing up family vacations – my brothers & I had a lot of fun together and enjoyed spending time with each other.

And Roy, Curly & I visited the “crik” out back and threw stones and watched sticks float away down the stream. Later we saw the nesting ducks swimming around looking for breakfast.

We took several drives into the mountains – even down to Knoxville, TN – which we hope to visit again. It was a nice time for us to be together – without a lot of distractions… There’s something relaxing about hearing roosters crowing, watching horses grazing, spotting blue jays and bluebirds – in a place where the redbuds are already in full bloom – that make ya stop & think…

But it was really nice to just come home again. There is something comforting about that “spot” we call our own – and despite the dishes piled in the sink (because of COURSE I had to bake more Sour Cream Banana Breadalso see below – after we got home last night!), this is OUR place. This is where My People live. It’s where we reside together – and grow together – and love each other.

It’s good to be home again.

Here is the Sour Cream Banana Bread recipe with my modifications noted:

Ingredients
* 1/4 cup white sugar
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 3/4 cup butter
* 3 cups white sugar
* 3 eggs
* 6 very ripe bananas, mashed
* 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 teaspoons baking soda
* 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease four 7×3 inch loaf pans. In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Dust pans lightly with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and 3 cups sugar. Mix in eggs, mashed bananas, sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix in salt, baking soda and flour. Stir in nuts. Divide into prepared pans.
3. Bake for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

***Notes:
I used 3 – 9″x5″ pans and baked for 1 hr 10 minutes.

The cinnamon sugar pan dusting is optional – but adds a nice crispy edge to the crust…

I also used less sugar in the recipe because 3 cups seems like way too much. I used 1 scant cup of white sugar, 1 scant cup brown sugar (NOT packed), and 1/2 cup of honey. The bread tastes plenty sweet to us.

I did not have eggs, so I used flaxseed meal as an egg substitute = 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal whisked with 3 Tbsp of water for each egg needed. The great thing is – it adds fiber and Omega-3s to the recipe with no cholesterol!

Here’s more info about flaxseed meal: http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/whattoeat/a/flaxinfo.htm

We are enjoying this for breakfast this morning. Here’s another post about breakfast with a yummy-sounding muffin recipe I’m going to have to try soon!

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