When life gives you rotten bananas—or it feels like it—you make muffins. Banana ones, of course. With chocolate chips.
This past Saturday, I had big plans. My husband and eight-year-old were going to the mountain for a black-diamond-in-the-woods-riders-only snowboarding date; my six-year-old wanted to stay with me. YES! A mom date with my boy. And our baby puppy. It'd be PERFECT. We'd go for a long walk in the woods with the dog and sweetly tire him out while romping through the forest, taking in all sorts of wildlife and having meaningful conversations—the kind only a mom and her six-year-old son can have. Then, we'd go out for lunch and go to a rock concert for kids. Because one was happening. And our friends were playing it. And how perfect was all of this?
But my boy had different plans. He wanted to have a day-long playdate with two of his best buds. He wasn't really into a concert—or going outside for more than 20 minutes at a time. I convinced him to walk with me to the park (awesome!) and arranged said playdate (good times for all three kids!) After the friends left, and Yo Biden (said sweet pup) made it clear that he needed to get out or he'd destroy our house with this puppy teeth and his pee, I asked K to go outside to play with me and Yoey B. Denied. So I went to the backyard with Biden myself, tossed around a ball and, approximately nine times, ran the circle-track of snow we'd shoveled out, Biden at my heels. Then I went back inside to try to cajole K out. I found him sitting in a chair, staring sadly out the front window. "When is Dad going to be home? I want Dad."
Like a four-year-old, I burst into tears. It had been a bad week at work. I had a lot of not-so-great energy—plus all of those super-Saturday expectations*—bottled up. It came all pouring out. (Not proud of this, but it's true.) "That really hurts my feelings. Can we do something together that's fun? What would you like to do?" He just wanted Dad. And he wanted a sweet. As it turns out, K was angry—really angry—that his big brother go to spend the whole day with this dad and get a waffle from the shack at the bottom of the slope.
"Can we make chocolate-chip muffins?" He asked sweetly and sincerely and, when I nodded gratefully, sidled up to the counter with a chair, happy not to be competing with this brother to do all of the good measuring and dumping. And then we made these muffins (inspired by a recipe by Isa Chandra Moskowitz), which saved the day:
Banana Chocolate-Chip Muffins
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon ground flax
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1+ cup dark chocolate chips
Make 'em, bake 'em, and enjoy:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in almond milk, applesauce, oil, flax, vanilla and sugar—with a fork is fine! Mix dry ingredients—flour, baking powder and baking soda, cinnamon—together in a separate bowl... or don't... I often just add them into the same one and stir it all up. Blend in chocolate chips.
- Bake for ~20 minutes (start checking doneness with a toothpick at 18 minutes). Let cool for a minute. Enjoy together with milk or coffee or coffee with milk.
- Promise yourself to let go off expectations next time. (In yoga practice, this is called aparigraha, or non-grasping, letting go of attachment.)