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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Giving Muffins and Thanks

In spite of the fact that Little A spiked a fever so high she was speaking in incoherent non-sequiturs last night and neither she, nor I, nor Adam got more than about 3 hours of sleep, we have a lot to be thankful for.

Although it feels more like summer even though it is the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend (and I HATE summer), we are blessed.

Despite a decline in the state of my behind (i.e. hamstring tendonitis flaired up again) and the fact that I had to get another needle (cortisone shot) in the ass on Thursday, I am filled with gratitude.

Our life is rich and full even with the usual ups and downs. This is not the case for everyone.

I have been volunteering for almost 2 years now with an organization providing social services for seniors in the Toronto area. My "phone pal" is a woman in her 60s who, because of poorly controlled diabetes, is legally blind and has dialysis at least 3 times a week. She lives with one of her daughters, but this daughter works a lot and my pal has no other family in the city.

I had thought at the beginning that this would be a sort of counselling assignment, but it's really more about offering social support to someone who is socially isolated. She ends up spending most of the holidays alone. So I decided this weekend is the perfect time to reach out to her in a slightly bigger way than merely a phone call every week. She has been dying to meet the girls, so I promised to bring them over for a visit, and I thought I would bring her some sugar-free muffins to enjoy.

Unfortunately, if Little A is still feverish, she may not be able to accompany me on this mission, but at least my pal will get some moist, sweet and spicy muffins to enjoy. If these are not for someone who requires a low-sugar diet, they will work just as well with sugar, rather than Splenda.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

2 large apples (I used organic Golden delicious), grated or finely chopped in food processor
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup Splenda or other diabetic-friendly sweetener (or sugar)
2/3 cup milk or water

1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup ground flax
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt

In large bowl, whisk together eggs oil, vanilla and sweetener. Add apple and milk or water. In medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients and mix into wet ingredients, just until combined. Spoon into greased or lined muffin cups and bake at 350F for 18-22 minutes. Makes 12-16 muffins, depending on desired size. Freeze if not eating within a few days.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!