Love Muffin

I make three dozen muffins a week. Always the exact same ones: gluten-free vegan chocolate chip oat flour. It’s actually quite a beautiful recipe, being allergy-friendly and refined sugar-free. Even kids without food allergies love these things. They are celebrated all over the tip top of Delaware but nowhere near as much as they are beloved in this house by my son. It all started with excessive food allergies and a food fixation that took hold years ago.

Since finding out about all his food allergies when he was one, I’ve made everything from scratch. I was never a baker, but I had to become one overnight–working with advanced, finicky ingredients. I never really had to look at labels, but I suddenly had to become an eagle-eyed expert. I instantly had to know that tahini is sesame, and I can never forget that. I have to know which restaurants make fries in peanut oil and email companies to ask wtf their natural flavors” actually are. It’s usually either sunflower oil or they admit that they don’t know.

The idea that companies can hide this information because it’s not a major allergen” is unacceptable. Anything can be an allergen to someone, and people have the right to know what they are ingesting. I’m grateful for the awareness these allergies have brought to issues with processed food in general; it’s something I know we are all better for. I’m also grateful for the forced, head-first, deep-end introduction to the world of baking. It’s very important to me and the family, and I find no greater joy than making people happy with baked goods. Like a warm hug through food. The ultimate I love you, I hear you, I care for you, you are worth the thought and time.”

Even with all the positive that’s actually come from these obstacles, it’s still hard to make so much of the same thing so often. As the baker, it gets quite boring. There’s a lot of stuff going on with work and other personal obligations to commit to this thing that essentially has to happen no matter what. It requires extra planning on trips, and sometimes I forget until I’m getting ready for bed.

But they are breakfast, and they are snacks. They likely make up 90% of my kid’s DNA at this point. He looks forward to them, and I’m the only person in the world that can make them for him. I am able to make him something he loves and is safe.

So even with this frustration and maybe even a bit of concern over what anyone would call an unreasonable amount of muffin making and consuming, where I’ve ultimately landed is: I have to do it, I’m happy to do it, and I’m honored to do it. It’s not a behavioral issue, it’s not hurting anyone, he won’t be expecting me to make these when he’s 30.

Even still, if I ever do find myself losing patience, I always reference this card I’ve taped to the kitchen wall. I’m due to make muffins again on Saturday, and I can’t wait.

See you tomorrow over breakfast.

February 8, 2024

A tiny project byJoni Trythall inspired by friends at Wiggle Work.