I used to bake all the time. I started when I was a teenager and didn’t stop until I got divorced.
I was in my early forties when my marriage was dissolving. By then I could make apple, blueberry, or pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and chocolate chip cookies without looking at a recipe.
One afternoon I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies for my then-husband. When I took them out of the oven he told me that I treat him like shit, then bake him cookies.
“Then I won’t make any more cookies,” I said to him. And I didn’t.
But he had a point. I had learned to use food as a way to placate and manipulate. Our marriage was rocky and I was trying to keep the balance in the only ways I knew how. (I hadn’t learned to be direct and demand what I needed back then) But not even a blueberry pie, with homemade crust and hand-picked berries, could have saved my marriage.
After we separated I stopped baking and did as little cooking as possible. I even came up with a “Buy your Pie” Potholder.
I was a believer.
But when I got covid in August, I was craving something soft and sweet. There are a couple of places nearby where I can get homemade cookies, but getting something cakey that isn’t too sweet, is harder to find.
That was back in August, but I still get those cravings. So when I saw the recipe for muffins on the back of a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Bran that was in our kitchen cabinet, I started thinking about making them.
The recipe called for a little honey, but no sugar which meant that Jon could eat them too. And I had all the other ingredients in the house.
I made the muffins a few weeks ago and they took care of my something soft and sweet craving. I put most of the muffins in the freezer and took them out when I felt like one. I shared the last one with Jon yesterday and decided to make more Bran muffins today.
I didn’t have apple sauce this time, so I just cooked up some apples. And I dropped the walnuts on the kitchen floor. The dogs were good enough to help me “clean” them up. If I find a dog hair or two in a muffin at least I know where it came from.
For some reason, we had a muffin pan hidden away in a bottom cabinet, but we don’t have a cooling rack. So after making today’s muffins and not hating baking again, I bought a cooling rack on Amazon.
I can’t imagine making a pie, but I can see baking some muffins every so often. It’s kind of like making soup, which I just started enjoying doing this winter. You mix everything up together and let it cook.
As long as it doesn’t get more complicated than that, I’m okay with it.
It’s less emotionally complicated too since baking is no longer a tool for manipulating my relationships. It’s simply about being able to eat what I want.
4 thoughts on “Bake My Muffins, Buy My Pie”
Maria, please share this recipe with me. I love to make bran muffins, however , the recipe my family loves is the one on the All-Bran box. It is the only one I make and know the recipe by heart! It uses low fat milk and some sugar.
Thanks if you will share.
Here it is Nancy it’s on the back of Bob’s Red Mill Wheat Bran.
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill®
1½ cups Bob’s Red Mill®
Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
¼ cup Nuts, chopped
½ cup Raisins
¾ cup Applesauce
1 cup Milk
½ cup Molasses or Honey
2 Tbsp Oil
2 Eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with
paper baking cups. In a large bowl, combine wheat bran, flour,
baking soda and baking powder. Stir in nuts and raisins. In a
separate bowl, combine applesauce, milk, molasses, oil and eggs.
Add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Spoon into
prepared muffin tin and bake for 15-20 minutes, until tops are
Love the humor and insight in this story. It’s delightful though speaking to some challenging stuff. “Buy your pie” within the context of the story is spot on.
I appreciate your seeing all that Lois. I hadn’t realized how much of meaning there was in it all until I wrote it.