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There are times I get nostalgic for my Mom’s banana bread. I love when I see bananas not getting eaten by my boys because I know it means I can make my Mom’s bread.
Today it’s one of those days when I crave the smell of my Mom’s banana bread. I yearn for that wafting irresistible aroma that tiptoed like a silent bomb down the stairs to me in my room while I was doing homework as a kid. It crept around the corner, and then ran full blast at me with an unmistakable tasty golden toasted smell. It was a warm smell. It was a smell of my childhood home. It meant my home was warm from the oven, it meant my Mom was in the kitchen, and it meant I was the kid who would get to eat it. It’s that kind of smell memory. The kind that rubs down deep in your brain and the memory of that smell stays even after cook is gone.
I still have my Mom’s original recipe card for her banana bread. I have no clue where this recipe came from. But since she passed away when I was a teen it is so special to have a favorite recipe from my childhood written out in her handwriting. The card is browned and has a few food stains on it where ingredients dribbled and left their mark forever. I know her hand held this card. As I hold it, I wonder if I’m touching a small bit of her fingerprint after all these years.
Now I make this recipe for my family. I share some of my Mom’s love with my kids since she isn’t here to be Grandma herself. I wish she were here to make it for them because that’s what grandma’s do, they make their grandkids’ favorites. They make special memories. I’m making special food memories for my kids. Special foods hold memories and feelings. When we re-make our favorites, it takes us back to that time we loved. Back to a special memory or day when we enjoyed that food. The taste helps us relive in that precious moment again. The familiar taste lets us dwell in our cherished memories for a few minutes. We get to savor it.