On the first Friday of every month, our second grader has a "store" in his classroom at school. The objective of this store is to help the kids understand dollars and sense -- and I do mean "sense" versus "cents." The intention is to teach them about the value and cost of goods; to reinforce math skills while starting to impart an understanding of supply and demand. Each child is expected to show up on this designated Friday with some items from home that they will "sell" to their classmates in an open exchange while they shop and "pay" for goods with play money. It's taken me a few months to come around to it but I finally understand what they're trying to accomplish and applaud the effort to teach simple math, economics and values all in one. The challenge, of course, is that the first Thursday night of every month, roughly five minutes before bedtime, there is an exchange that goes something like this:
2nd grader: "MOM! I need stuff to sell in the store tomorrow!"
Me: "Why are you just thinking of this now?! You've had a month to think about this!"
2nd grader: "But Mom, I NEED some things I can sell NOW! How about these books?"
2nd grader: "How about these cars I don't play with anymore?"
2nd grader: "How about some legos?"
Me: "No, no, NO!"
This typically carries on for a bit longer while the poor kid scurries around stealing toys and books from his siblings with the intention of "selling" them in school the next day. It's not good. So, after yet another unpleasant exchange last night, this morning I decided to emulate some of the Super-Moms I know are out there and have been baking yummy little morsels for their second graders to sell on the first Friday of every month. I was up and at it at 6AM, baking these tasty little "Mommy muffins" that I hope make my little fella feel like a champ as he rings up his proverbial cash register. We call them "Mommy muffins" because my Mom used to make them for us and, at forty years old, the smell of a warm Mommy Muffin still warms my heart. If you'd like to warm some little hearts of your own on the first Friday or any other day of the month, here's a recipe that's sure to please:
2 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder (note: it's POWDER, not SODA -- I made that mistake this morning and had to start over!)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled
1 cup of milk
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400 and grease muffin pan. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Combine milk, egg and vanilla in a separate bowl; add in melted butter. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in milk mixture, stirring quickly to combine. Spoon into muffin pan, bake for 18-20 minutes, enjoy the warmth and yumminess of a mommy muffin right out of the oven!