Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Sweet Goodbye

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

One of the best parts of this grandmother gig is getting to babysit every now and then. They don't live close enough for routine babysitting, but I'm happy to drive down to help out when I'm needed. It makes life much easier for Mommy when she doesn't have to take the littlest one along when she has a dentist or doctor appointment.

This past weekend we had a blast of winter weather. Now, you dear readers who live way north of us would laugh at our Southern snow storms. It doesn't take much to throw us in a tizzy. We cancel everything---schools, offices, churches. There isn't much snow removal resources except for the main highways. So we wait for it to melt. Driving down the interstate wasn't bad at all, but when I made the turn onto their hilly street, it was pretty icy.

Since there was no school because of the snow, the two little sisters and I had a good time together. We played Candyland (by their rules) and Go Fish and the newest game, Sneaky Snacky Squirrel (which is a great game for the really young ones.) There was dancing and singing and dollhouse play, too.

During nap times I was happy to sit down and add a few rounds to my pair of socks. (Knitting is such a wonderfully portable hobby.) These socks are for Mommy. It would have been nice if I could have finished them before I came home today but I have half a sock to go. It was 11 degrees one night while I was there. And it is supposed to be in the 70s this coming weekend. We will be back in flipflops.

This morning all the girls did have to go to school---three schools, three drop off times, three dismissal times. I had to leave before even the preschool dismissed, so I decided I would leave them a treat. It's hard to leave them when they ask, "Mimi, can you live here forever?" Or, "Can I come with you and live at the farm." Okay. That's the two little ones. The high school sister has moved on, as she should. Her focus is on her friends and keeping up with AP classes. And I know that all too soon, these precious little girls will expand their world, too. So I'm soaking up all the Mimi love while it lasts. But I hope this sweet surprise helped with the goodbye sadness.

I left these pumpkin spice muffins ready for them to find when they got home from school. And maybe a muffin will find its way into a lunch box or two tomorrow. This recipe was the very first one I posted on this blog all those years ago. Back then we used it because it didn't have any eggs or soy in it. At that point Big Sister was dealing with some food sensitivities that thankfully, she has outgrown. But this recipe stands on its own. We've made it many times since then just because it's easy and it's delicious. If you have a young baker in your house, this a a terrific recipe for them to make, too.


1 box Duncan Hines spice cake mix
1 (15-oz) can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup water

    1/2 all-purpose flour
    1/2 brown sugar, packed
    1/2 stick butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put cupcake papers in a 12-cup muffin tin. Mix cake mix, pumpkin and water until well blended. Using a hand mixer is the easiest way to do it. Spoon batter into muffin tins. Add topping.

Mix flour and sugar. Cut butter in until crumbly. Sprinkle topping over muffin batter, pressing in lightly.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until done. Test with a toothpick. It should come out clean when done.

We have made these muffins with yellow cake mix and chocolate cake mix, too. They are all good. But we all like the spice cake mix best. Try them all and decide which is your favorite.


  1. Icy roads are icy roads no matter where they are in the country. No laughing at you from this MN gram. Glad you are okay. And 11° is cold by my standards, too! That is one very attractive sock! Nice goodbye muffins too. You've got a knack for this grammy gig!

    1. You're right, an icy road is treacherous wherever it is. But around here the store shelves are usually empty within hours of hearing the word "snow" on television. Folks stock up like they will be stranded at home for weeks. And typically the snow is all gone in a day or two. Loving these socks--which are not for me! And you have set the grammy bar pretty high!

  2. I made these muffins for work clients and they raved about them. Little did they know how easy they were to make.

    1. I didn't have the fancy muffin papers like you had. I used up some of her Halloween ones!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Janie. Always good to hear from you. Happy New Year!

  4. You get the prize for best Mimi ever!!!!

    1. I think we are all pretty good Mimis! :-)


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