The Muffin Man

So my sister called from Wisconsin last week, all excited to tell me this story, but she had to leave a voice mail because I was in session when the phone rang. Her message enthusiastically explained that she'd read this article in the paper and was cutting it out and sending it to me because, "it has Barbara written all over it!" She went on to tell me how this guy had come to Madison and was giving away free muffins to people in exchange for their good deeds. You shovel a neighbor's driveway, for example, you get a muffin. Taking a hot beverage to someone would get you a muffin. Picking up trash that isn't yours? Muffin. I got the article in the mail just yesterday; 
do you see that it's signed?

Click on the article to read the online account of this delicious Pay-It-Forward project.

That's cause it turns out that my sister was out running errands on the very afternoon that she'd come across that article and, sure enough, guess whom she ran into? Yep, the Muffin Man. She went up to him, of course, and before he could get a word in, she said, "I know who you are," to which he answered in  amazement, "you do?" She explained that she'd cut out the article and had it in her car to send to me; she somehow talked him into signing it for me because she was just sure that I'd be wanting to either blog about this or do something like this at my school. His message?  Be The Change!  

Then, in true Debra fashion, she asked him what he needed to keep his business going, and she went into the store and got him some gluten-free flour, in exchange for . . . you guessed it . . . a muffin. She wasn't even planning to take one, but he talked her into the Pear-Fig muffin and, for the record, she said that it was quite tasty.

I'm not really that big into rewarding people for their good deeds, but today I'm wondering: How might a trade like this work at your school or in your community? What might the reaction be? What might the outcome be? How might things change?


NOTE:  Today’s story is just begging for some sort of recipe ex-CHANGE, so here’s my 
Peach Muffin recipe:

1 ½ cups flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup sugar (scant)

Combine in large bowl and make a well in the center.  Add:

2 eggs, beaten
½ cup vegetable or canola oil

Stir in these ingredients:

1 ½ coarsely chopped peaches (we use fresh peaches!)
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp. almond extract
½ cup chopped almonds or pecans (optional)

Grease muffin tins and pour batter in to fill.  Sprinkle muffin batter lightly with sugar before baking for a bakery-top crust. Makes 12 small muffins or 6 large muffins.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  YuM!


  1. Thank you for the story Barbara! I just realized that I hadn't joined your blog! Fixed that! (I read often, but failed to do this!)
    You are inspiring me with every post or comment!
    Here is my muffin recipe. My sons really like them!

    Baked Apple Doughnuts/Muffins
    Combine the following:
    1/4 cup of lightly packed brown sugar
    1/4 cup of white sugar
    1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
    1 3/4 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp nutmeg
    1/3 cup of cold butter, cut into small pieces
    Cut in the butter until crumbly.

    Mix together:
    1 egg
    1/4 cup of milk (add a little more if dry)
    1-1/2 cups diced apples (2 peeled)

    Combine dry and wet ingredients. Do not overmix.
    Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.
    Cool 5 minutes and top with the following:
    Mix together:
    1/3 cup of sugar
    1 tsp cinnamon powder

    Brush each muffin top with melted butter and dip in cinnamon sugar.
    Enjoy! They don't last long!

  2. What a great story! Thanks for sharing. Maybe there is something students could give, when someone does something nice for them.

    Chickadee Jubilee

  3. LOVE the story!!!! The recipe looks delish! Thanks for sharing!

    ❤ Mor Zrihen from...
    A Teacher's Treasure
    Teaching Treasures Shop


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