This year, our pre-school hosted a “Muffins with Mom” event in appreciation for all that we momma’s do. Me being me, I immediately volunteered to make Top 8 allergy-friendly muffins so that all of the kids and moms could participate. There would be two events, one on Thursday and one on Friday.
I had never made allerGene-friendly muffins, and definitely not Top 8, so I baked a few batches ahead of time to make sure they didn’t taste like dirt. Let me tell you, the muffins were delicious! They were a hit with all of my taste testers, both those with and without allergies alike. They were thicker than I expected and they stuck to the liners a bit, but I was confident that I had found my recipe and was ready to bake my official batch!
[Side note: I was going to spray the liners with a touch of coconut oil to help with the sticking. However, when I looked at the ingredients, the spray was not pure coconut- it contained SOY! Always, always, always double check your ingredients!]
I washed all of my measuring spoons, bowls, and muffin tins. I sanitized the counters with clean dish rags and set out a fresh dish towel for drying. I even made sure to bake during rest time so the kids would be out of the kitchen. I did everything right.
We only have a handful of kids with food allergies at our school, so I figured a dozen muffins would suffice. True to form, Gene, Farrah, and I split one muffin from this batch to make sure they were as tasty as expected. They definitely were!
Once the muffins cooled, I placed them in a large tupperware container. From there, I typed up a list of all of the items used and their specific ingredients. Allergy moms want to know this stuff upfront, and I didn’t want there to be any hesitation during the event.
Before I knew it, the day was done and it was off to bed! I would deliver the muffins to school the next morning.
I woke up at 1:01 AM in a panic. I had a dream that was so realistic that it shook me to my core. My dream, or rather nightmare, was a replay of my afternoon, only this time, there was no joy or confidence in what was taking place. My ingredients morphed into ones that were not free from allergens, my utensils were not cleaned properly, and the risk of cross-contamination was everywhere I looked. When I awoke, I was plagued by fear and overcome with anxiety.
Needless to say, I did not go back to sleep. Instead, I tortured myself further by playing the “What If Game”. What if I read the ingredients wrong and they did, in fact, contain a major allergen? What if the tupperware container I stored them in somehow had allergen residue? What if when I dropped the muffins off, the volunteers accidentally mixed them with the other muffins? What if someone has a reaction when they eat these muffins? What if they don’t have their epinephrine on them? The game continued for hours.
As night turned to day, my emotions ran even higher. These thoughts had overwhelmed me and I was a wreck. I called my husband in tears. I reached out and asked friends to pray for me and the quality of the muffins. I even considered backing out and saying that there would be no allergy-friendly muffins this year.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- I was never a person who struggled with anxiety, but becoming a food allergy mom has challenged that fact.
It had happened. It had happened again. I let a bad dream take over. As an allergy mom, this happens more often than I care to admit. When I am awake, I can control my thoughts. I can fight the fears and anxieties. However, when I am asleep, I don’t stand a chance against them.
After many prayers and much deliberation, I made my decision. I know how to cook for people with allergies and I know the precautions to take to avoid cross-contamination. I knew these muffins were safe and that they would bring smiles to a few unexpectant faces, so it was only right that I deliver them for the event.
In the end, I’m so thankful that I made the decision to provide muffins for the event. One of the volunteers e-mailed me after the first round on Thursday and said that the muffins were a hit and they only had two muffins left! She asked if I could make more for Friday’s event (the one we were attending). This time, I confidently said yes!
Friday morning, we attended our very first Muffins with Mom event. As I’m sure you other momma’s can attest to, it wasn’t a relaxing occasion by any means. The upside was that I was able to eat a second breakfast with my babies and watch Gene create the most beautiful bead bracelet for me.
I’d like to say that my takeaway from this experience is that I will be more confident in my knowledge and abilities as an allergy-mom in the future. Maybe I will learn my lesson, but maybe I won’t. You can be sure I will keep you updated though!