Thank You, Firefighters!!

The news out of Arizona this week is so sad.  So, so sad.  Nineteen firefighters tragically died when a wildfire they were battling grew out of control.  They leave behind wives and children and parents and siblings. Some left behind pregnant wives.

I am haunted by these deaths.  These firefighters (all firefighters, really) were some of the most well-trained and well-equipped first responders on the planet.  They were brave and bold and strong.  Their deaths are a devastating reminder of just how fierce mother nature can be. She is an unpredictable force, that’s for sure.

Because I can’t do much to help the families out in Arizona, I thought it would be fitting to put some good energy into the universe in hopes it winds its way out west.  So, the kids and I baked a couple loaves of homemade blueberry banana bread for the firefighters in our neighborhood.  We all wrote thank you notes letting them know how grateful we are for their service and dedication.  Three-year old Mack chose to color a Spiderman picture, probably because he knows firemen are the real superheroes in our city!

In her best pre-K penmanship, Evie wrote “THANK YOU FOR PROTECTING US. LOVE EVIE”

And, I put pen to paper to let the guys know how grateful our family is for their service.

Once we had the bread wrapped and the cards written, the kids and I walked over to the fire station.  It was a cool summer day, and the big garage doors were open.  As soon as we approached the entrance, a couple fireman stood up to greet us. We handed them the bread and said our thank you’s.  I think they appreciated the thought.  I know we appreciate what they do for our neighborhood.

Blueberry Banana Bread

1 cup sugar

3 ripe bananas

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract (here’s how I made homemade vanilla extract)

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 pint blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend sugar, bananas, butter, milk, vanilla extract and eggs until well mixed.  Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Stir in blueberries.

Grease two loaf pans with coconut oil.  Pour batter equally into pans and bake for 40-50 minutes (or until knife inserted in center of the loaf comes out clean).

Let cool and remove from pans.

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