On Muffins (Or, Why Surprises Are Less Helpful Than Requests

To prepare for my move to Chicago this weekend I’m making muffins. Dozens of muffins are stacked in the freezer for Wife and Daughter to have for breakfast over the next several weeks. Cherry, strawberry, apple, banana nut, gingerbread–I’m practically changing my address to Drury Lane.

At first it was going to be chicken. Thumbing through the Pioneer Woman Cooks at the local Barnes And Noble on Saturday, I lingered for several minutes over the chapter on “Freezer Food,” where the author extols the virtues of pre-cooked chicken breasts for weeks’ worth of easy dinners. Right then I made my plan: cook scores of chicken breasts this week and secretly stash them in the freezer. Then spring the surprise from the Windy City.

But something made me flinch. If it were me, dinner every night would be the greatest energy drain, and so pre-cooked chicken would save the day. But it’s not me. So I divulged my plan and had my energies redirected to breakfast.

13 years of marriage have taught me to distrust the promise of the surprise and to prefer instead the beneficence of a concrete request.

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