The morning started innocently enough. I decided to make Mark Bittman’s muffins as a treat, instead of the usual cereal or toast. After all, Valentine’s Day demands special effort for a special day.
But then I noticed I only had a half a cup of applesauce, and needed a cup, so I had to make more. I made my husband get up from reading the Sunday comics to stir.
And then I remembered I had made roast chicken the other night because Ruhlman said any idiot could do it, so I felt qualified. It turned out fine, but I also discovered why I stopped making roast chicken at high temperatures: it throws fat everywhere and destroys the oven. Now the oven had to be cleaned, or it would smoke and perfume my special Valentine’s Day muffins with essence of burned poultry fat.
So while I prepped the wet and dry ingredients for my special treat for my husband, he cleaned the oven on his hands and knees. I was so distracted I forgot the sugar.
Finally, at 1 p.m., we sat down to fresh muffins, fruit and yogurt. I asked my honey if he liked the muffins. He said they were “okay.” We’ve been married so long (20.5 years) I knew what that meant.
Crestfallen, I asked if he would have preferred a big ham and cheese omelet instead of this healthy treat, which I realized appealed more to me than him. He said no. “Just next time, add the sugar.” And then he kissed me.
(Photo of sugarless applesauce muffins by Owen Rubin).