It wouldn’t have been possible without Joe. He was peeling his banana at lunch last week and made the comment that he would soon see whether or not it was too ripe to eat. ┬áLori nodded in understanding, but I was perplexed. The banana looked like it had reached the perfect peak of ripeness for eating and I said as much.

My four coworkers all disputed my observation. It seems they all prefer a touch of green on their bananas.

“Eew,” I said. “No green. When they’re nice and yellow, just before they start to brown? That’s the perfect banana.” I went on to tell them about the bananas I had bought nearly a week ago that were still sitting in the fruit basket at home. Still solidly green and showing no signs of ripening whatsoever.

Lori’s face lit up. “I should bring you my bananas. I bought some at Sam’s Club, and you know those come in a huge bunch. They’re getting ripe past the point that anyone at my house will eat them.”

“Bring them in,” I said. “I’ll eat them!”

Friday morning as I was bringing my lunch to the break room to put in the refrigerator, I knew Lori was already in the office. I knew because there was good-sized bunch of bananas on the table, and I had smelled them before I had seen them. I laughed out loud! Clearly Lori had not listened carefully when I described the condition of a banana that was perfect for eating. What she had brought me was banana bread bananas.

Later in the day, Belinda and I split the bunch and each took some home.

I noticed the bananas on my kitchen counter Saturday morning and decided to bake a nice treat for breakfast. The beauty of having college-age kids is that they sleep very late. There was no hurry. So I browsed through a couple of cookbooks until I found a recipe for Jumbo Banana-Nut Muffins. I knew I didn’t have any nuts on hand, but I didn’t care. I don’t like to taint my baked goods with nuts. The kids would prefer chocolate chips in their muffins instead.

The recipe said it would make six jumbo muffins. It just so happens that I have a brand-spanking-new muffin pan, and I was itching to give it a try. So there I was, happily mixing dry ingredients and mashing bananas and making just enough noise to wake my beautiful daughter who came home for the weekend. When she’s home, her time is more likely dedicated to Connor and friends. I knew that breakfast was my chance for some one-on-one time with her.

Kacey came trudging from her room in her signature pajamas … a pair of shorts and a softball t-shirt. (Or was it volleyball? I can’t remember.) Her hair was tousled and she didn’t look quite awake yet, even though it was near 11:00 a.m.

“What are you making,” she asked?

JUMBO Banana Nut muffins,” I said with obnoxious emphasis.

“Yum,” came her reply! “With chocolate chips?”

“If you can find some for me. There should be some in that cupboard,” I said pointing to the one I meant. “I’ll make half with chocolate chips and half without.”

The recipe said it would make six muffins, but the batter filled eight cups. No one was complaining about the extras. I popped them in the oven and set the timer. While we waited for them to bake, Kacey told me how she was trying to kick her pop addiction and she read excerpts from an article she’d found online that were enough to convince me it’s time to kick my own Diet Coke habit. Before long, I was peeking in on the muffins and seeing they were rising nicely. Kacey and I sat down to eat them while they were still warm…

Mountain Muffin Tops (anyone else hear Led Zeppelin playing in the background...?)

The smell of fresh-baked muffins was enough to draw Jake out of his slumber and he soon joined us.

The chocolate chip variety

These began to disappear quickly!

I like mine chocolate-chipless and with lots of butter!

The bananas I bought are still neon-green, a week after buying them. If it hadn’t been for Joe’s banana commentary, these muffins never would have come to be. It would have been just another boring, cold cereal kind of morning!