This post is a little bittersweet. These muffins were baked back in mid-August (yes I am that behind); both kids helped a bit with the savory muffins, but much to Sammy’s frustration, Alex made the sweet muffins on her own (with my supervision). I explained to Sammy that she and I would have all year to work on tons of baking projects, so she should allow Alex to have some “Mommy time projects.”
The very next day I got the call that half day kindergarten had been canceled at our school. Too many families have been hit hard by the economy and have been forced out of their homes by foreclosure, sending them out of our school district. After a lot of tears and frustrated debating, we chose to send her to full day kindergarten, the best choice for her (I truly believe) but not necessarily me.
You will hear people say kindergarten is the new 1st grade, and preschool is the new kindergarten. I didn’t raise a child in the 70s and 80s, but as far as I can tell by comparing stories with my mom and mother in law this seems to be true. Which of course creates a problem for many kids who do not go to preschool. I know there are studies showing what a wonderful equalizer full day kindergarten can be for children from disadvantaged homes, where letters, shapes, colors and numbers are not discussed, children are not read to and preschool is not an option. And Sammy is adoring school, even though she is already familiar with all those concepts. So I feel certain we made the right choice. But the fact remains, it was not my choice. She has the whole rest of her life to be a student, to be responsible, to come home exhausted.
I wanted one more year with my baby. I wanted more than two and a half weeks notice that it was time for my baby to become a kid.
I hate regret. It is a useless emotion. And I especially hate regretting superficial things, like the fact that even though I know she has not thought twice about it since the day it happened, I wish I had had a special muffin project just for Sammy, the way I did for Alex that day. It is especially silly when you consider that she will have many more opportunities to bake with me. But there you have it. Like all mothers, I am not particularly rational when it comes to how I feel about sending my child to school for the first time.
But about the muffins. The savory muffin was not a huge hit with the kids but John and I loved them. I think the idea of a savory muffin was just too strange to them. So moms and dads take heed–and shove one of these babies into your kids’ mouths when they are younger. Because they would make a great lunchbox item for the child willing to give them a chance. The tomato flavor is fantastic without being soggy and the olives are subtle enough to not overwhelm the muffin (a concern for me, I admit). And if the kids had liked them, I had planned to play around with whole grain substitutions.
The next recipe is the Chocolate Speckled Oat Muffin, which Alex prepared almost entirely on her own. I threw the chocolate into the food processor and took care of “grating” it. I think one of the things Alex likes best about baking is finding excuses to sample what she is making!
Needless to say, these muffins were a hit with everyone. Vanilla and milk soaked oats, a pile of chocolate shavings, what’s not to like?
Muffins are for people who don't have the 'nads to order cake for breakfast. --Seth, "Kitchen Confidential" (the show, not the book)
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