Blueberry Muffins for a Healthy Marriage

Two years ago today, my husband and I stood at the altar and I made the best decision to date: heck yes, I take this man to be my husband. And how do you celebrate lifelong commitment in my book? Baking unity muffins.

What are Unity Muffins, you ask? Good question! It was our take on a unity ceremony. I hate clutter so definitely didn't want a vase of multi-colored sand in our house for the rest of our lives. I also didn't especially like the idea of lighting a candle, only to blow it out. And a unity tree? Though a cool idea... that tree wouldn't stand a chance with my gardening skills, and I didn't like what that symbolized. So, my husband and I made muffins-- each ingredient symbolizing an important piece of a healthy marriage.

We fell in love berry picking in Alaska, so blueberries came to represent our love of adventure and our teamwork. The flour would represent our foundations, egg would be commitment (because it binds everything together, you know), vegetable oil for communication that keeps things running smoothly, etc.

Last year, we celebrated our first anniversary by eating blueberry muffins. And now, for our second anniversary, I wanted to do it all again. (I'm a huge sucker for traditions!) The only catch? Now we have the sweetest and most adorable baby in all the land, and he is allergic to everything. So, there went all of the common ingredients: no egg, no wheat, no dairy.

 Photo by Erica Rose Photography

Photo by Erica Rose Photography

 Photo by Erica Rose Photography

Photo by Erica Rose Photography

But I was not deterred. Our pantry has become well-stocked with alternative flours and coconut everything, so I thought I could do this. In my head as I mixed, I thought of what each new ingredient should be. A cup of almond milk? Maybe patience. Almond meal, Oat Flour, and Rice flour? Maybe it was our foundation and our roots from before we were married, and now this is the stronger foundation we are building for our family. Coconut sugar? The need to adapt, but at the core of it, our relationship is still the most important and we are keeping it sweet.

Fast-forward to the oven timer dinging. I pull open the oven door and the muffin tins are full of pools of blue liquid. I gave them another 7 minutes... then another 10... then another 12. (The original baking time, mind you, was only 17 minutes at 350.) Now they are beginning to resemble muffins, but still blue soup in the middle.

I took them out, all of my hope for a beautiful metaphor dashed. (I'd even started filling out a card for my dear husband, describing our new ingredients in life and about how we've adapted to becoming parents, and how things have changed but are better and we are stronger, etc.... and now this.) I couldn't give him a card full of wishy-washiness and a muffin tin of blue soup.

And then, my amazing husband walked into the kitchen. He peered over my shoulder as I did muffin triage. "I know!" He said excitedly, in only the way he can. "Why not make blueberry muffin croutons?"

An hour later on a slow roast, with a final dose of high heat to crisp them up, our unity muffins transformed into something amazing. I could have seen them as broken and undercooked, or I could choose to see them as flexible... as thinking outside the box... as still delicious, but looking a bit different these days. But most importantly, I saw that without my husband, they wouldn't have been as good. He is my ingredient to greatness. Without him, I'm just soupy muffins. But with him, I can roll with the punches and deliver some of the best darn allergy-free muffins (or muffin fragments) the world has ever seen.

Happy anniversary love!