Wheat Free Zucchini Carrot Muffins and Consolation

Monday, May 20, 2013

The day I decided to go back to being (mostly) vegan happened to be the day before my son would be leaving to join the IDF (Israeli Army). There was a huge amount of worry and emotion tying stiff knots in my shoulders, this was my baby after all. But at the same time, I was also curiously trying to figure out a healthy recipe for a zucchini carrot muffin that I could grab and go on my busiest days.

(recipe in the last two paragraphs of this post)

It all happened so suddenly. My son was in his junior year of college and decided he really wasn't happy with where he was in his life. He felt lost and unmotivated and had some friends who had experiences in the IDF and came back completely changed and inspired. He broke the news to us a few weeks ago and then found out the program starts this week; needless to say, it's been a whirlwind. The day he came home to get ready we were hanging out in the kitchen together and, grasping at straws, I whistfully asked him, "Don't you miss the days of backyard pool parties with your friends, going to Six Flags, and watching endless TV episodes on your laptop? You seemed so happy then." He answered, "No Mom, I'm done with all that..do you really miss those days? Because I don't remember you being so happy when I was doing those things back then either."
Oh well. We mommies want to cushion and coddle our babies...spoil them and make sure they are forever protected...even if our babies are gown men. But deep down I know it's not healthy or what's best for them. We need to let them go and fly away...

Cut back to the kitchen...it's a drizzly Sunday afternoon and I've just taken my son to get his passport photos. I have no strength to go grocery shopping but dammit I'm going to make those healthy muffins! I go about slamming cabinets and drawers in my kitchen, organizing the messy ones while searching for ingredients...it all seems to be a great distraction and stress reliever. With every drawer slammed I push back a well of tears rising in my eyes. Now I finally understand those passionate food bloggers. I'm not usually a fan of hanging out in my kitchen cooking and baking, but with worry, fear, melancholy, and the general buzz of anxiety coursing through me, puttering in the kitchen is the perfect thing to do on this dreary day.

From my veggie drawer I pull out an (almost) wilted zucchini and three carrots. I find a bag of spelt flour that I bought eons ago and never used. I clean out one of my drawers searching for muffin tins I could swear I had; I end up finding some disposable ones at the back of the top of my fridge. The clanging and banging goes a long way to helping me relax. I proceed to process the zucchini, boil the carrots, measure a cup of spelt flour, add 3/4 cup of sugar in the raw, 1/4 cup of coconut oil, a pinch of cinnamon and two eggs. (See? It's not totally vegan, but it's good enough.)

After mashing the carrots and blending all the ingredients I pour them into the greased muffin tins and bake them for 45 minutes. They are delicious...I have succeeded in making up a recipe. Food blogger friends out there have no fear though; I am no competition to you and do not intend to become so. But I have learned about how integral the passions of deep emotion are to cooking and creating delicious food. I have learned that the cooking/creating experience can be like a little bit of morphine for an unsoothed soul. And just like the random combination of raw ingredients can create a delicious outcome, the experiences and surprises that life offer us are the ingredients of an unknown future result that may just work out.

And it will be OK.

Until next time,



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  1. Oh Sharon, I am glad that you found a method to relieve your stress and work through this special time and also a marker of time and the end and beginning of an era. You must be proud of him though right? I wish he has a fruitful time in this next stage for him xx

  2. you are reminding me of when my youngest son who was in premed decided to become a cop!!!! at the time my mother was dying and thought I just coulnt handle it all and let him do whatever he had to do for 10 years when h became a detective. Shall never be able to describe how I felt all Th.ese years when the phone rang , dreading the worse, and there have been very hard times..To this day I never said a word, about it, now he has great job, but I wonder if he ever thought about how his life would have been different. He saw the worst humanity could offer, and I know it has changed him..But our children choose their destiny and we are only bystanders!!!!
    I do wish you all the best.

    Annie v.

  3. Sharon, I'm sending you a huge virtual hug. My kids are little but I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like for me when they decide to spread their wings and make their own choices. Kudos to you for making HEALTHY muffins instead of drowning your sorrow in cinnamon buns (which is what I would do!) and congrats on your first successful recipe development!

  4. Oh Sharon I know you are so proud of your son, I know I am. As mothers we never ever stop worrying and being protective! The muffins...yum!

    Art by Karena

  5. Hi. Sharon!
    I have a son of 20 years and I am happy every day he lives still here at home. I know your feelings when kids grow up. We know we have to let them go their own way. Once we had to leave our Mums, too and now we can understand, what they had to feel.
    So I think you have to create lots of new recipies until your heart is free of pain and fear... So free your heart and send him lots of angels by his side!
    Love, Ines

  6. It WILL be okay Sharon and I can totally understand your feelings. This is what parenting is all about:) Letting go and realizing that you've done your part.. it's THEIR turn. Once a parent always a parent.. so we will worry no matter what.

    He will be fine:) grow .. and become the man he is meant to be. You should be proud.

    On a side note:) these muffins look so good!


  7. Hi Sharon

    I live in South Africa and my son too decided after his first visit to Israel to serve time in the IDF (it was never his intention to make Aliyah). It was exceptionally hard saying goodbye to him and the time he was there was a roller coaster of emotions for us all, but he excelled in the army becoming a paratrooper in the 890 nachal (the unit that liberated Yerushalayim)making us (and most importantly himself) so proud. The time passes and it is a wonderful thing for a Jewish boy to do. He is home now and a better person for his experiences there. You can be proud of your son - and to him all the best, what you are doing is amazing and so praiseworthy.

  8. You are a fantastic mother. Sending you light and love {and I love the tasty muffins by the way!}. xx

  9. As the mother of another IDF soldier, I can relate to what you must be feeling. May Hashem watch over and protect your son and all our beloved soldiers!

  10. Hi Sharon! First let me just say that I will be praying for your family. I know this is as hard on your son, being so far from his loved ones but following his heart, as it is for you. Sending you lots of love too my friend. Your muffins sound heavenly. Now I also know the emotional rewards of baking. God bless you sweetie. Xoxo


  11. It's good to remember those relatively carefree days when children are at home but you are right, they have to be allowed to fly and do what makes them happy.

  12. letting them go is tough.... good luck

  13. Wow Sharon. Had no clue till I read this. You should be so proud of him!!!!

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