This past weekend was my 10 year high school reunion. I didn’t go, because I didn’t feel comfortable taking extra time off work since I just had 6 weeks off. Still, looking at everyone’s pictures on facebook makes me wish I’d had the opportunity to go too. Some people I can identify right away in the pictures, while others I can’t recognize at all. I could wonder whether people would recognize me, but I look pretty much the same as I did back in 2000. My hair’s a bit shorter now, and that’s probably the major difference. While I don’t look all that different, I do realize that I’m a much different person than I was 10 years ago. All the life experiences I’ve had since then have shaped me into a woman I very much like, and who hardly resembles the girl I was at 18. I suppose that’s what the passage of time is meant to do.
Right, enough introspection. Turns out I couldn’t really have gone to the reunion anyway, as I came down with some awful sickness on Friday and stayed sick most of the weekend. Fortunately for me, Mom had already planned to come for a visit last weekend, so I made her relive the olden days and take care of her sick daughter. Okay, not really, but she was great about helping out not just with Coco (which is why she really came, of course) but with the boring housework that never seems end.
I had this whole plan that involved showing Mom such a fabulous time that she would decide to move here and take care of Coco for free, thus saving us the tons of cash we’re shelling out for day care. It would have been feasible, too – Coco is a great baby and hardly ever fusses, and I’m a good cook, so she’d be happy here. Too bad she felt the need to go home to her dog, cats, and cows. Oh, and my brother and his family (who’s youngest daughter she actually does keep during the day).
Even though she didn’t stay, Mom had a good time on her visit. She was duly impressed with Coco’s good behavior and astonished at how big she’s gotten. Mom changed plenty of diapers, had lots of play time, and kept Coco on Monday while GP and I were at work.
In my attempts to woo her here more permanently, I cooked up a huge pot of jambalaya and made some yummy pumpkin muffins. I was reminded that it is in fact fall, despite the temperatures staying in the 70s here in Louisiana. I’ve posted the basic recipe before, but I’m posting it here with the changes I made. They are delicious, and I think I may fight GP for the last one. If anyone wants to know how to make jambalaya, let me know and I may just post that recipe too.
Over the top Pumpkin Muffins (so named because Chocolate Raisin Walnut Pumpkin Muffins sounds dumb)
Yield: 2 dozen muffins
1 can pumpkin puree
2 mashed up overripe bananas because you never eat them all in time
2 cups white sugar – never said it was healthy
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour to attempt and make it healthier
1/3 cup ground flaxseed because you still have that bag sitting there
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 cup raisins
1 bag dark chocolate chips because everything’s better with dark chocolate
1 small bag chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 24 muffin cups.
2. Mix the liquid ingredients, then slowly add the dry ingredients.
3. Stir in the raisins, chocolate, and walnuts. Stir until your arm might fall off because your electric mixer died and it’s all elbow grease today.
4. Pour into muffin cups. The batter should come to the top of the cups.
5. Bake muffins for about 25 – 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of one comes out clean.
6. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool down until you fingers no longer burn before trying to eat them.