It's been a busy week. Lots of meetings and activities and play dates. It's end of the quarter for school, so there are last minute projects, assignments, and tests to study for. I said yes way too many times and now I'm paying the price.
Turns out I wasn't the only mom last night that was spread thin. Most of the friends and acquaintances I saw last night, all arrived the same way I did. Out of breath, sweating, scattered, and cursing the fact that all activities like this seem to be planned for right around dinner time.
Last night was Young One's first middle school orchestra concert. He's been so excited to start playing the upright bass after two years of playing the cello. This big, bad instrument has been his goal since starting orchestra.
I know that part of it has to do with the fact that it's the biggest instrument in the orchestra. You know, a kind of, "mine is bigger than yours" mentality. He walked around in his almost a tux uniform, parading the big bad thing in front of as many of his classmates as he could. I overheard him telling a bunch of kids that it weighs, "more than I do."
I was lucky enough to chat with a more experienced parent of a bass player. She gave me some helpful hints on how to navigate life with an instrument that has it's own zip code. I had volunteered to rally some sixth grade Mom Troops to chaperon the kids before the concert. Orchestra kids are really great kids, so really, there wasn't much to do. Of course, I found someone to chat with!
One of the things I learned when I was working full time plus on our business was to have a lot of grab and go things in the freezer. Muffins or banana bread can round out a cheese stick and a glass of milk to make a quick meal. It's also portable, as in, "GrabamuffinIfilledyourwaterbottlealreadyIknowyou'resickofstringcheesegetsomeanywayandgetinthecar."
Last night was the concert, today is the Pumpkin Run at school, tonight is a meeting for Confirmation guides, and tomorrow I'm participating in a math placement focus group for school. Friday is a dance at school and Young One is going to a friend's house. Saturday is Halloween and Sunday church and then I'm going to fall on the floor. Monday morning it starts again.
Apple "Clean out the Cereal Cupboard" Muffins
1 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg--freshly grated is best
1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped fine
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil--you could sub applesauce, I did and they turned out great
1 egg or the equivalent of egg substitute
2 cups Raisin Bran or high fiber cereal with fruit--I used Kashi something or other with cranberries-- you could use all the leftover cereal you have, you know those bottom of the bag amounts that aren't enough to fill up a husband or kid with, but end up in your cupboard languishing until you either throw them out or feed them to the birds. I wouldn't recommend the cereals that are really just big bags of sugar because not only do they look frightening in muffins (trust me), but they don't taste very good either.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. Set aside. Peel, core, and chop apple. Mix milk, vegetable oil OR apple sauce, and egg, whisking well. Add wet ingredients, apple, and cereal to dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Do not over mix. Place in equal amounts in muffin tins and bake for about 15 minutes. Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
If you want to freeze and bake later, freeze in paper liners in the muffin tins overnight and pop out into freezer zip bags. You can pull them out and bake from frozen (increase baking time). Or bake and freeze, defrost in the microwave for quick grab and go breakfast, in the car "meals, or snacks.