I am physically and emotionally exhausted. It’s been quite a week in the Sweet Sensations household. Last Sunday two of our grandsons came to visit and from the moment they got here everything was on warp speed. I’ve talked about the boys in the stories about my CNN experience. They’re the sons of our second oldest son who’s been on two tours of duty in Iraq. Shanaan, the youngest is the one who stayed with us while our son was away the first time. Casey Jr, the oldest is autistic. Gabrielle was in seventh heaven, her cousins were built in playmates. The noise level was through the roof! We also discovered that these new wave kids don’t like playing outside so much. They’d rather play Wii, computer games, or watch cartoon network. Having two boys in the house with voracious appetites also meant Grandma was always in the kitchen. No problem there, it’s what I do most of the time. However, these boys don’t do green drinks and stir fry veggies. They wanted food-food, which meant mounds of dishes to do. And if you have boys you know what they can do to a bathroom.
My day usually began with making a trough of pancakes, then feed the kids, clean the table, clean the bathroom, get baths ready, iron clothes, remind them all to put on lotion and take care of their towels. After this, I kid you not one of them wanted something else to eat which started a chain reaction. Thus the kitchen cycle of cook, and clean seemed never ending. I was smart enough to stock up on paper plates, and cups. Wish I could have found disposable pots, pans and skillets. And OMG the laundry!! It felt like all five kids were home again. Charisse was a huge help; despite having a root canal she pitched in. Added to the chaos that’s known as Camp Grandma and Grandpa, our next-door neighbor passed away and we had to attend his funeral.
Yesterday their mom came to get them and saying goodbye was not easy. Honestly it was downright heartbreaking because of Casey Jr’s reaction. Casey doesn’t talk much and because of his challenge he can’t carry on a fluid conversation. He’s able to let you know what he wants, but he’s easily frustrated. To hear him say ‘grandma’ was so sweet, even though it was usually connected to a request for an ice cream sandwich or juice. The Mr. and I were standing in the driveway after getting goodbye hugs and kisses and watching them load up. Casey turned and ran back to me crying and gave me a hug that lasted a lifetime and spoke volumes. It was at that point that I totally lost it. I don’t know who cried more he or I, and I will remember that moment forever.
With all my treks in and out of the kitchen this week the only thing I baked was a batch of Cocoa Banana Crumb Muffins with a Streusel topping. I found a Banana Crumb Muffin recipe at Allrecipes.com, added cocoa, oats to the crumb topping and reduced the cooking temperature to 350° from 375°. Originally I wanted to use vanilla wafers as part of the topping but they changed my mind after crushing a couple of them. So if you see something in the topping that looks out of place it’s just an escaped piece of crushed cookie. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
Cocoa Banana Crumb Muffins – Adapted from Allrecipes.com
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
¾ cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup butter or margarine, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 TBS all-purpose flour
½ cup oats
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 TBS cold butter
In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Combine bananas, sugar, egg and butter; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Combine the four three topping ingredients; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over muffins. Bake at 350 °for 18-20 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.