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Hey! I’m Iris. Thank you for taking the time to read my works. Hope you enjoy!

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This is hopefully my last draft before my expert review, but still please give me feedback if you notice any funky scentances, wrong spelling, or weird grammar. Thanks and enjoy!

Priceless: My Little Brother

December 6, 2015

Roses are arguably one of the prettiest flowers existing. Their petals seem inexplicably perfect. Their fragrance very sweet, but not overly putrid. However, within beauty, there can be danger. Foods can be like roses; though they have their own fragrance, they are thorned, as they can cause allergies.

My younger brother, Calvin, was born with severe food allergies. Seven to be exact. Dairy, eggs, all nuts, all seafood, soy, mango, and peanuts. He was especially allergic to dairy, nuts and seafood. In other words, he was anaphylactic to them, so if he ate them, his allergies were so serious that he could stop breathing, and die.

Let's start at the very beginning. Calvin was just a few months old and being fed yogurt, when he broke out in hives. His tiny, fragile body started heaving and coughing and struggling to breathe. I don't remember this day that well, but I know he was immediately rushed to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with food allergies. I, being three years old at the time, didn't know what this "food allergies" business was. I just knew that my baby brother, who was the cutest thing I had ever laid eyes on, with his chubby little arms and legs, and his little mouth that blew spit bubbles and cooed when I tickled him, was very sick.

This change was hard on all of us. Gone were the yummy fig newtons that I worshiped for desert. My delicious Häagen Dazs chocolate ice cream vanished from the freezer. No more was my favorite breakfast: fried eggs. But as humans, we adapted. We got used to the lack of delicious foods. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches weren't really gone. When I went over to my friend's house, we would have it all the time. But at heart, these delicacies were, for my little brother wouldn't be able to grow up with me, going on spy missions at the dead of night, just to sneak downstairs to grab that last box of chocolate chip cookies for ourselves. He would not be able to stuff an extra Oreo into his mouth when our mom and dad wasn't looking. The food just wasn't worth it it if Calvin couldn't have it.

Calvin grew older. He watched, miserable when my mom would bring cake, or donuts, or any other type of sweets for me and my older sister but came up empty handed for him, because like any five and a half year old kid, he craved sweets. My mom watched, even more miserably, at my suffering brother. She wanted to do something really bad.

So she did. The most miraculous thing happened. It all started when my mom went downstairs and looked through her pile of cookbooks. She scanned the shelves, then found the cookbook she wanted. Leafing through the pages, she stopped on one particular page, then went back upstairs, cookbook in hand.

The next thing I knew, the sweet, delicious smell of a hot treat wafted through the house, and eventually reached my bedroom, where I was playing with Calvin and my sister Azalea. "Calvin! I have a surprise for you! Come down stairs!" My mom called. The three of us raced downstairs, the fastest of us the five year old, because not many amazing smelling surprises had come his way. My mom, smiling, stepped aside. Behind the spot where she had last stood, were 24 golden honey muffins that looked so amazing; they almost seemed to be shining.

I think that day was the best day of my life. I know this sounds cheesy, and it probably is, but seeing my brother sink his teeth into those muffins, was amazing. That day is forever ingrained in my memory, to be called upon when my brother is feeling bad about his limited food choices.

It was the transition into a new stage of life. A place where milk free blueberry muffins existed. A place where no butter was needed for chocolate chip cookies. A place where my brother could eat cake, cupcakes, muffins, cookies, and many other treats. A world that my brother calls heaven. And that, to me, is priceless.

Today, Calvin has seen at least 6 hospital trips from eating the wrong food, and has had some near-death experiences, but on the bright side he now has outgrown eggs, peanuts, soy, mango, and shellfish; however we are yet to see fish, dairy and nuts go away. My family and I all know that day will come, and it all started with a batch of honey muffins.

Here is my beloved recipe from the baking book Muffins A to Z by Marie Simmons, tweaked by my mom:

Honey Muffins


2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda, sifted 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, 1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup milk (here we used soy milk, because at the time when this muffin recipe was first made, Calvin had outgrown soy, and was able to drink it, but still was unable to drink milk)
1/3 cup unsalted butter (here we substituted butter for a type of butter that has the protein that Calvin was allergic to that is called ghee), melted
1 large egg (here we used a fake egg replacement)


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly butter 12 muffin cups are cope with nonstick spray. 
2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg in a large bowl; stir until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, melted butter and egg until smooth. Add to the dry ingredients all at once and fold just until evenly moistened. Do not overmix. 
3.  Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Take until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before removing from the pan.

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