Monday, August 21, 2017

Zucchini Muffins, Lemon Muffins, and Service -

One of my favorite book titles is, Today I Baled the Hay to Feed the Sheep the Coyotes Ate. Interesting isn’t it! A rancher/farmer works so hard to take care of his sheep, and in the end, the coyotes love his sheep as much as he does!

Today, I baked nearly 10 dozen muffins – blueberry raspberry ones and zucchini chocolate chip ones. I also made nearly 2 dozen lemon ricotta pancakes. All are filled with extra protein. Why? To freeze and feed Scott and myself for a few weeks of breakfast, to share with our neighbors, and to get some healthy breakfasts into my mother. Scott also husked, cooked, and de-corned a dozen heads of corn, to freeze for use this winter.

What does our undertaking today have to do with the book title? Sometimes what we think we’re doing for ourselves is really for someone else, and they benefit just as much, or more, from our service as we do. In fact, cooking today was a joy, because service was at the root of it all. I wonder if the farmer sang to the coyotes as he planted his clover fields!

My father died last summer, July 5; he was a month shy of being 86. He’d been really really ill for the last 2 years of his life, and aging significantly for about 5 years. All but one of his children, and my mother, were around his bed when he died. It was a beautiful experience. Scott and I had the privilege of serving him, helping care for him, those last years. In fact, one of the reasons we purchased our home was to be close to my parents and Scott’s parents, helping them as they aged. And now, last Sunday, I took my mother to the hospital; she was not feeling well, and rather than “wait and see,” I took her to the ER, where she was diagnosed with pneumonia. She was in the hospital for just 2 nights, which was enough! She’s home now, next door, and Scott and I are caring for her, with a little help from 2 of my sisters. Not only does she have pneumonia, but exhaustion, dehydration, and she needs to eat better.

Hence – today I baked to feed the people who fed me – physically, emotionally, spiritually, and who give me the opportunity to serve. If we listen, and if we act, we will always find ways to serve. And we are blessed in that act – those muffins weren’t only for others, they were for Scott and me too, and there were more than enough! (My grandmother, my mother’s mother – Geneve Jensen, taught me that food is always best when it’s shared.)

As with nearly everything I make, cook, sew, I seldom follow the recipe exactly. Hence - 1/2 white flour, 1/2 whole wheat, less sugar, raspberries with the blueberries, no glaze because then I can't freeze them, pumpkin pie seasoning rather than only cinnamon, chocolate chips too. For both recipes, to increase the protein in the muffins, I added extra eggs or egg whites and unflavored vegetable-based protein powder. For the zucchini bread, bake muffins for 20 minutes. 

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