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This Lemon Thyme Tea Bread — a recipe I’ve made for years — will become a fine if unconventional birthday cake tomorrow.

My husband helped make it because he staunchly believes in one life absolute:  NO ONE should have to make their own birthday cake.  But really, I don’t mind making my cake.  And with a preference to NOT be the center of attention — ever — I also don’t mind the absence of the usual big family gathering held in my honor.

Just as well since my two middle children are out-of-town and my endearing youngest is almost always out in left field, especially when it comes to knowing who’s on first and the important what’s, where’s and when’s of life.

On the other hand, my oldest will be in town and is always on top of her game.  However, she has a very important O.U. football game to attend with her husband, which in Oklahoma, don’t you know, is the sacred cow that trumps all else going on during game day.  This is absolutely true no matter how punk or sorry the competition is expected  to be.

Like all addicts, come hell or high water, a Sooner fan MUST have their fix of O.U. football every time the team plays.  Heaven knows I learned this from the cradle —  about an hour after my birth, in fact  —  from my dear daddy who left my mother and me to rush to the radio to find out whether O.U. would continue its winning streak by beating Colorado on October 22, 1955.  In case you’re wondering, they did.  And also — in case you’re wondering — my father never thought he had his priorities out-of-order.

I will not tune into tomorrow night’s game.  But surely if heaven is as good as its name, they will have subscribed to the Sooner Football Network so Daddy can.

Other than knowing THE game will not be part of my celebration, I’ve no plans yet.  Where possible, I prefer to live life without a game plan.   But I’m pretty sure I’ll be enjoying some of this lovely Lemon Thyme Tea Bread.  And of course, since my husband IS a Sooner football fan, I can’t help but think I’ll be hearing the sounds of O.U.’s fight song playing over and over, beginning around 7 pm or so, courtesy of The Pride of Oklahoma, which in case you’re wondering, is O.U.’s band rather than its football team.

How in heaven did THAT happen I wonder.

Go figure.

go o.u.

Lemon Thyme Tea Bread

3/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Combine first three ingredients in a saucepan — bring to a boil, then remove from heat.  Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.  Then cool.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add sugar, beating well.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

Combine dry ingredients and, alternating with milk mixture, add to butter mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.  Mix after each addition.  Stir in lemon rind.

Pour batter in a greased and floured 9×5 loaf pan.  Bake at 325 for 50  minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan, Pour glaze over bread and cool completely.

Lemon Glaze

1 cup sifted powdered sugar

2 Tbsp lemon juice

Combine and stir until smooth.