Kisses from Home

Kisses from Home

Sending kids off to college can be a big wrench for parents, even when they’ve been heading off to school on their own for some time.  I would get so accustomed to our girls being home during the summer that it was hard to re-adjust to the empty house every September.  My way of coping with missing them, until my husband and I got used to being a couple again, was to send packages of goodies from home.  This started because one of them called home at the beginning of the school year and said, “They’re killing me here with their unhealthy food.  Send fruit!  Send stuff for breakfast!”

I put together things I thought they could eat on the go in the mornings, and also food to share with dorm and roommates – sort of a “friendmaker package”.   These boxes were always a big hit.  This summer I ran into one of my daughter’s college housemates from many years ago, and she asked me if I was going to put the banana bread recipe on the blog.  I’m happy to oblige.

Kisses from Home box

Here are some of my girls favorite things I would include in a Care Package:

Granola bars or big breakfast cookies (See posts on August 28th and September 4th)

Homemade chocolate chip cookies or jam hearts

Homemade mini-loaves loaves of lemon or banana breads

Apples, tangerines, or pears, wrapped in tissue paper

Dried fruit (especially the exotic stuff like chocolate-covered goji berries and ginger)

Hard cheeses like cheddar, with olive oil or sea salt crackers

Homemade gingerbread with a jar of lemon curd (and a disposable knife for spreading the curd)


Yogurt-covered pretzels

Late July organic cookies and peanut butter crackers

Annie’s Homegrown Bunny Grahams in honey, chocolate and cheddar flavors, in individual packs

and always – a bag of Hershey’s Kisses with a “Kisses from Home” Post-it note stuck on it.

Kisses from Home

I wasn’t trying to put them into a sugar coma, but rather encouraging them to share the food and make friends.  The regular packages tended to bring other kids to their rooms, which became a regular gathering place, and therefore, I hoped, a bit less lonely when the occasional bout of homesickness arose.   It was a way to send love, via UPS.

Here are recipes for two favorite breakfast breads I used to put into care packages.  If pressed for time, you can use pound cake mixes for these breads, and add fresh mashed bananas, or lemon juice, to give them that homemade feel.  I use small loaf pans for this, so the bread bakes faster than most breakfast breads.


  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 4 mashed bananas
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  1. Mix dry ingredients together. 
  2. Mix in eggs, butter and bananas.
  3. Bake in small greased loaf pans at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

  4.   If you use a large single loaf pan, it may take up to 50 minutes to bake. 
  5. Don not overbake or they will be dry.
    Banana bread

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  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Grease bottoms and sides of small loaf pans. 
  2. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder poppy seeds, and salt.
  3. Combine milk, eggs, melted butter, lemon zest, and vanilla, and add to flour mixture, mixing until just moistened.
    Lemon and Poppy
  4. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. 
  5. Cool and serve.
    Lemon and Poppy baked

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