This weekend we held a garage sale. We had been thinking a garage sale would be a good idea for a couple of years now (especially after we moved to this house and piled potential garage sale items in the front corner of the garage) but with one thing or another, we just never got around to it until now. I felt a little bit bad about it because Saturday was Paul's birthday, but honestly, I think it was one of the most fun birthdays he has had.
We woke up around 6:15 and started setting up tables and pricing items on the driveway and by 6:30 we started having people stop by. I had put an ad on Craigslist the day before and painted a neon pink sign that Paul taped onto a pole on the main street where you turn onto our road and apparently that really drew in the crowds. Our biggest rush was from 6:30 to 7:30 but the stream of people was steady all morning long. We think that it also helped that our neighbors three doors down were also having a garage sale.
There were lots of people who came by who spoke Spanish and I enjoyed seeing their faces light up as Paul started casually chatting with them in their language. They were inevitably delighted that he spoke the language and then surprised to hear him speak it so well. Many people commented about it and I know Paul had a good time interacting with everybody.
We had a few big ticket items like a tv stand, a raft that we bought years ago and used tons when we lived in Utah for floating the Provo River (which sold for almost what it cost us originally), Paul's beach cruiser bike (he always regretted buying the gunmetal gray and black bike because he decided that something flashier was more his style), lamps, artwork (we actually sold some of Paul's prints that we used to have on the walls but had switched out for others that we preferred), the refrigerator, garbage disposal and kitchen faucet from our old kitchen, etc. We also had a bunch of funky little things like old shoes, a shower curtain, an old purse, vases, broken picture frames, books, a vcr, rusted saws, ridiculous aviator sunglasses of Paul's that came with a flight-simulator video game from the 90's, cheap plastic lazy susans that don't fit in our new cupboards, etc. It all sold.
The funniest thing that sold was something that Paul had made in middle school where he had braided together four strips of leather thong. Some guy drove up on a motorcycle and ended up purchasing it from Paul, which we have been chuckling about ever since thinking how he is probably adding it to his fringe to look tough on his bike. We were able to get rid of probably 90% of what we put out there and brought in a decent chunk of change from it that we intend to use toward adoption travel expenses, which can be hefty when you factor in plane flights, hotel costs and car rentals.
Clara slept in really late (until almost 8:00!) and then came out and sat in her high-chair and ate a muffin and raspberries while Paul and I were working. She had a blast grinning and waving and offering to share her food with the people who came by.
But my absolute favorite thing about the morning was selling my baked goods to our garage sale patrons. I had no idea whether a bake sale was a dumb idea or not when we started planning the garage sale earlier in the week, but I figured that if the cookies and muffins didn't sell, I could always take them to church for my Beehives or put them in the freezer. My friend Christine gave me a bag of lemons from their tree so I made two batches of lemon cookies, a batch of chocolate chip cookies, and a batch of morning glory muffins and sold everything for $1 each. It wasn't a ton of food, but there were about four dozen cookies and two dozen muffins and at $1 each when it cost me maybe $3.00 in flour, sugar, eggs, and butter to make everything, that is a pretty decent profit.
One lady bought a lemon cookie and started walking down the street eating it only to come right back and buy six more and rave about how it was the best lemon cookie she had ever tasted. I coaxed a number of people into buying muffins ("It's only one dollar people! Try them!") by promising that they would not be disappointed and they all confirmed that I was correct and praised the morning glory muffins. There were only a couple of muffins and a couple of cookies left by the time we decided to wrap-up.
So, by way of saying "thank you!" for everybody's help with our adoption media blitz (seriously friends, we are so lucky to have amazing friends and family like you who are willing to tell your friends about us and spread the word that we are hoping to adopt - we have had more than 1,000 hits to our adoption blog since last Monday when we started the blitz, which is HUGE), I wanted to post the recipe for Morning Glory Muffins. Because seriously, these are some of the best muffins I have ever made. I got this recipe from a family on my mission in New Jersey. There are lots of variations on morning glory muffin recipes that you can find on the internet but so many of them call for random things that I never have on hand like wheat germ, apple butter, dates, flaxseeed, etc. or they call for canned pineapple, which I don't really like using in muffins because it seems to result in a syrupy sweet baked good that is too much for me.
My version is simple and straightforward and dare-I-say pretty much foolproof. You will end up with a super moist, soft muffin that is packed with flavor. Oh, and did I mention that there are carrots in these muffins? Yeah, they are THAT GOOD. And that comes from someone with a lifelong aversion to carrots who even passes up carrot cake which is basically slathered in cream cheese frosting in an attempt to disguise the carrot flavor (am I right or am I right?).
Here are the ingredients:
You basically grate the carrot, zucchini and apple into a bowl with chopped pecans and coconut,...
add the dry ingredients,...
then mix it all up with the eggs, applesauce, oil and vanilla before pouring it into muffin tins and popping them into the oven.
Your little helper might enjoy snacking on the apple peel and grated carrots, like mine did...
...until I let her run around while I was trying to finish taking photos of the mixing process by standing on a chair and she decided to tickle my toes. Silly girl. She is kind of obsessed with this green sieve these days and carries it around with her everywhere she goes.
They bake for about 30 to 35 minutes and turn a nice carmelly-brown color and make your kitchen smell heavenly. It will be hard to wait long enough for a muffin to cool so you don't burn your mouth when you bite into it. I speak from experience.
Two muffins with fresh fruit and a glass of cold milk and you have a pretty much perfect breakfast or afternoon snack.
Morning Glory Muffins
2 cups flour (I use half wheat and half white which I think actually makes these muffins better than using just white flour but just use whatever you've got)
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup grated carrot
1 peeled, grated apple (I use Granny Smith for baking)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup oil**
2 tsp vanilla
Optional: 1/2 cup raisins***
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar, soda, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the grated zucchini, carrot, and apple, chopped pecans and coconut. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, applesauce, oil, and vanilla, then add to the flour mixture until combined. I use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop the batter into muffin tins lined with paper liners and they should be filled pretty much all the way to the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
**If you don't have applesauce on-hand, you could do one cup of oil, which was the original recipe, but I promise that using applesauce instead of oil doesn't hurt the flavor or texture of these muffins one bit and it makes them just a little bit healthier.
***I pretty much only like raisins in cookies, broccoli salad, or plain, so I omitted the raisins here.
Makes about 2 dozen muffins and they freeze well for quick breakfasts on the go.