by Debra on September 9, 2010

Musical pairing – Mama’s Song by Carrie Underwood

‘Ever wish you could freeze frame a moment in your day, and look at it and say, “This is NOT my life”?’ Daniel Hillard, Mrs. Doubtfire

Funny how when we travel, we always seem to end up at a Panera’s – they have comfy benches, decent coffee, killer cinnamon crunch bagels and free Wi-Fi, not to mention, people watching is always fun.

During one of those visits, I found myself at a particular busy cafe – familiar sounds of buzzers going off, folks placing orders, babies crying, silverware clanking and LOTS of  discussions that involved everything from what’s on TV tonight to students discussing new classes – it is a happening place!

Sitting right across from me is a little guy about 8; he had finished his sandwich and just could not sit still.  Mom and dad are very annoyed and whispered through clenched teeth (none to quietly, I might add) to ‘SIT STILL!!’ Mom is last to finish and the little man is saying, “Come on, come on, come on,” all the while wrapping both arms around his head and then rolling head and arms side-to-side, across the table top.  Mom wolfs down the last 2 bites to end the agony.  I swear the entire meal took less than 10 minutes from start to finish.  I resist the urge to laugh out loud for fear I would get punched.

Across to my right is a mom with 2 toddlers; she navigates the cafe with both boys, one walking, the other she’s carrying on her hip along with her food, their food, drinks, purse and diaper bag.   While she’s buckling the youngest into a highchair her cell phone rings – she’s cutting sandwiches, carrying on the phone conversation and at the same time saying to her guys, “Boys, just tear off the pieces; Evan, take a bite of ham.”  But Evan doesn’t want a bite of ham, he wants his cookie and the one in the highchair has now tossed his food on the floor . . . finally she says, “I’ve got to go and help these kids with lunch.”  The one in the highchair is now arching his back, flailing his body around and shrieking with such a high-pitched shrill, I swear only dolphins in the next county will hear.  My right eye twitches.  Evan, who looks to be about 3, now declares, “I need to go potty,” grabs his wanker for all it’s worth, takes off down the hall by himself.  Mom unsnaps the youngest and heads after Evan, leaving her purse, diaper bag and uneaten lunch on the table.  I can hear Evan now screaming in the bathroom.   My teeth ache.  My ears ring.  I need a nap.  Sigh . . . so for all you moms out there  . . . I have nothing profound to offer other than – this too shall pass . . .

This is a recipe that my mom made for years while we were in school; I have no idea where she got it but she always made it in a 9×13 pan and then cut the cake into squares.  I decided to add some raisins and walnuts and bake them as muffins so that I could freeze them and then pull out on the mornings when I’ve hit the snooze button one too many times.  I also switched up some of the all-purpose flour to whole wheat pastry flour.  These are tender, moist and quite tasty with a cup of coffee or tea – they are also perfect as an after school snack!