posted by Caroline

If you settle Eli for a nap, he’ll want to read a book first.

So you’ll bring out one of his best-loved books.

When you’re finished reading the book, he’ll want another.

And another.

When you say they’re all gone, he’ll ask you for a sip of water before sleeping.

So you refill his water bottle and he has a long drink.

Having a long drink makes him realize he needs to pee, so you walk him to the bathroom.

When he’s in the bathroom, he’ll see his bathtub Titanic, which will remind him of the lake he dug in the sandbox at preschool this morning.

So you talk all about preschool, where his friend made sand-cinnamon muffins. “Speaking of muffins,” he says, “I want to make muffins!”

So you offer to make some, but only after he naps.

So he settles into bed thinking about muffins, and wakes up ninety minutes later saying “Muffins! Let’s make some!”

So you get out the ingredients, and your muffin tins, and less than an hour later you eat muffins topped with your friend’s homemade strawberry jam. Yum.

Snickerdoodle Muffins

Adapted from the Joy of Cooking

Preheat oven to 400; line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper cups (this is an excellent job for a preschool helper)

Whisk together in a large bowl (the larger the bowl, the less chance your helper will scatter flour on your floor):
2 c all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
½ t salt
1 t cinnamon
6 T flax seed meal

Whisk together in another large bowl (again, the larger the bowl the better for your  young helper):
2 large eggs
1 c milk
2/3 c brown sugar
6 T melted butter or vegetable oil
1 t vanilla

Add to the flour mixture and stir together lightly, just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Perhaps take the spoon out of your helper’s hand now so that the batter doesn’t get overmixed. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of one or two muffins comes out clean, 12-15 minutes.

Take the muffins out of the pan and place them on a wire rack to cool. While they’re cooling a bit, put 1 T of butter in a heatproof dish, and let it melt in your cooling oven. By the time the butter’s melted, the muffins will be cool enough for your helper to brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Eat with jam, or not.