The Raggedy Awards – Year Six

April blossoms on Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Though T.S. Eliot penned “April is the cruellest month,” we here at BigLittleMeals find May to be the most difficult. Why? Well, we have to award the Raggedys! For those of you new to our blog, let me update you. As of this May, we have blogged for six years; we’ve traditionally celebrated the passing of each year by my presenting a Raggedy Award to Andy for his best Andy’s Corner and Andy presenting a Raggedy Award to me for my best blog. This year we’re putting a bit of a spin on the award ceremony. I have picked MY favorite blog and Andy has picked HIS favorite Andy’s Corner! :). AND, instead of picking a favorite recipe, we’ve picked a favorite ingredient.

Because we’re a food/life blog, we’ll begin with the year’s favorite ingredient. The whole “fam” has unanimously agreed that this ingredient is a winner. It’s not pretty; it’s not tasty; it’s not particularly cheap; it’s not easy/peasy to use. But it can be a game-changer. And the winner is


small seeds with big benefits

We blogged about flaxseeds back in January, but to refresh your memory, according to the Mayo Clinic, flaxseed “may be small (I measured – they’re less than 1/4″ long), but its health benefits are big. It contains numerous salubrious components, with highlighted nutrients being omega-3 fatty acids….Omega-3 fatty acids are good fats that may help lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad) cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of certain cancers. Fiber can help relieve constipation, control cholesterol levels and keep you feeling full longer. Flaxseed also contains lignans, which provide antioxidant protection.”  

Aren’t you impressed? If you’re still trying to figure out how to incorporate flaxseeds into your diet, we’ve got a flaxseed muffin recipe below for you to try. One muffin and you’ll get enough flaxseed (be sure it’s ground, of course) for the day.

Ann’s Pick

Ann’s pick for Ann’s BEST BLOG goes to “I Like the Lady Horses Best!” Though I love all of my tales about both racehorses and my horses in that blog, what I really love about the blog is this poem I included – “How to Triumph Like a Girl” by Ada Limón. In that poem is the line “I like the lady horses best.” Ada Limón, U.S. Poet Laureate, grew up in and around Glen Ellen, our current home, so that makes her especially interesting for us to follow. But mostly, both Andy and I think she’s written some amazing poetry – even if you’re not a poetry enthusiast. Her poem below, published in 2017, seems especially poignant given this day and time.

And now it’s Andy’s turn:

Deciding on what I consider to be the best Andy’s Corner from the past year was an excruciating experience. Each of my creations was a labor of love and is like my own child. The labor part is because I’ve never been a fluid or prolific writer and tend to agonize over the minutia of word choice, logic, and sentence structure. For each paragraph you see in print there were three or four that I discarded.

The love part comes from how much I enjoy discovering and researching topics I would never have considered if I had no Andy’s Corner to think about. How else would I have been inspired to learn about and discuss such topics as Monopoly’s sordid history, the terrible puns created by Artificial Intelligence, the super power of mushrooms that may save our planet, beef pizzle as food for dogs, or meal worms as brownie ingredients for humans?

And then there are the videos I’ve produced for Andy’s Corner. With a rudimentary understanding of the iMovie app and many hours on my laptop painstakingly cutting, pasting, and rearranging snippets of video, I managed to create four feature movies for Andy’s Corner this past year. So, beyond selecting the best Andy’s Corner narrative, Ann and I agreed that it would be fitting to award an additional Raggedy to one of my videos.

With that said, here are my picks:

Andy’s Picks

Andy’s pick for the best ANDY’S CORNER goes to SUP: An Annoying Small Thing with a Big Impact 

One of the reasons I picked this post is because I believe that in-person greetings are important to the quality of our social lives. These little informal rituals that we pretty much take for granted keep our relationships with others humming along. And writing about greetings offered me the opportunity to vent a bit about a pet peeve of mine (“Sup dude!”) as well as revisit one of my favorite Vonnegut novels.

Andy’s pick for the best VIDEO in an ANDY’S CORNER goes toAn Elephant in the Room” which appeared in Ignoring the Elephant in the Room – or Not 

An Elephant in the Room features our dogs Oakley and Wynn. These two furry clowns provide us with entertainment and comic relief on a daily basis. I’m sure you’ve noticed that they’ve appeared in number of my videos. What sets this particular video apart from the others is its muted canine-esque political undertone. And besides, who can’t help feel a bit upbeat with Henry Mancini”s Baby Elephant Walk playing in the background?

And, as promised, here’s the recipe to help you incorporate our award-winning flaxseeds into your meals. And these muffins are a delicious way to start the morning.

Applesauce Flaxseed Muffins

Applesauce Flaxseed Muffins

I tweaked this recipe from my grandmother’s Applesauce Nut Bread recipe, which was published in the 1955 Congressional Cookbook and which we posted earlier on BigLittleMeals. I’ve changed the bread to a muffin recipe and added vanilla and an egg and the very healthy flax seeds. Do NOT use whole flaxseeds because they don’t benefit you the same way as ground. One muffin should supply about enough flaxseed to meet the recommended daily amount.

  • 2 c flour
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp Diamond kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 c unsweetened applesauce; if you like muffins to be quite sweet, use sweetened applesauce or add another 1/4 c sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 T butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 3/4 c ground flaxseeds
  • 1 c pecans or walnuts, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a standard 12-cup muffin pan or line with paper baking cups.

Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon to a medium bowl and whisk it gently until it is very well-blended. In a small bowl combine the egg, applesauce, vanilla, and butter. Stir again just until combined. (Note: don’t let the batter sit before baking because the flaxseeds will begin to absorb all of the moisture.)

Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full of batter. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then remove from the pan and place the muffins on a wire rack to cool for another 15 minutes or so before enjoying.

Leftover muffins may be tightly covered and left at room temperature for a day or so. Or freeze and enjoy them later.

Recipe brought to you by and Andy and Ann.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: