I love to bake. At first glance, Jacob’s diagnosis of allergies to egg and dairy meant my baking days were over for a while. Since then, I’ve learned a number of substitutions that really work, and I’ve found my groove again. It’s a good thing, because apparently our little man loves to bake, too.
As terrified as I am of him eating in the outside world one day (school, parties, friends’ houses, oh my!), I am grateful that he is an adventurous and voracious eater. My hope is that getting him involved in the kitchen (as if I had a choice) will only bolster that, teaching him that if he’s careful and knowledgeable about what he eats, he shouldn’t have to miss out on anything.
About once a week, we make banana or pumpkin bread or muffins. Since Jacob’s a great eater, I don’t worry about him regularly eating baked goods. Some of the substitutions we make (see below) are extra healthy, and he eats enough of EVERYTHING ELSE that a muffin a day isn’t an issue. When I say we’re going to make something, and runs right to the mixer, dragging a chair over so he can see watch what happens in the bowl.
Nerd that I am, I use baking as an opportunity to count out loud. I tell him everything I’m doing (Next Food Network Star much?) and he pays attention. He even has a special job—he puts the muffin wrappers in the tin for me.
It’s all a very happy domestic experience . . .
. . . until the batter needs to go in the oven.
At least twice now, Jacob has experienced utter meltdowns when I put the muffin tin in the oven. He used to be so excited that he knew to “stand back” because the oven was “very hot.” Now, he does not want the batter to get hot at all—“No hot! No hot!” He wants the batter to magically turn into muffins. If I knew a way, I’d do it. Fresh muffins at the drop of a hat sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
Earlier this week, we spent the entire twenty minutes the muffins were in the oven crying, in time out, and generally being miserable. And once that buzzer rings? Excuse me while I go all Brooklyn on you—fuggedaboutit. The muffins WILL be done. We WILL take them out of the oven. And we WILL eat them immediately, even if Mommy says they’re very hot. There simply isn’t any time to waste.
You’d think it ends there, but it doesn’t. Once one muffin’s almost gone, it’s time to start asking for a second. My medium-sized toddler pounds muffins like they’re nothing (probably because a good chunk of them ends up on the floor, in his clothes, etc.). The other day I thought I had convinced him to eat just one muffin. And yet once he was up from his nap, the first thing I heard was “Muffin? . . . Muffin! . . . Muffin?”
When they’re freshly baked, I give in and let him have two—partially because I can handle two these days as well. After that, we endure a daily discussion about whether muffins are acceptable for every meal of the day.
I don’t want to bake without him, but the period of bake time is driving me crazy. Who knew living with a muffin monster could be so intimidating?
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For butter: Fleischman’s Unsalted Margarine Sticks—all of that information is important!
For eggs: 1) 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 Tablespoons water, set aside for a few minutes to get gummy. Rinse the cup and spoon immediately after, or you will regret it.
2) Ener-G Egg Replacer—Use the directions on the box. This doesn’t have the flecks of the flaxseed, but it also doesn’t have the nutritional value there. I only use this on special occasions when things need to be pretty.