My mother-in-law, Gene, is a Raisin Avenger, just like me. This afternoon, while the baby slept, she and I made a fridge-filling number of Norm’s Big-Batch Bran Muffins, and we benevolently offered to omit the raisins for our beloved anomaly, the resident Raisin Hater, Wayne. He demurred by squinting his eyes, then clarified: “I don’t really like bran muffins.”


Had he always not liked them? Even all those times over all these years when I messily split the giant vat of batter into separate bowls to make his half without raisins? When I cut up old envelopes to make darling little Raisin-Free labels for his divvy, so that his delicate palate would not accidentally stumble upon an offending raisin?

Doesn’t like the texture, he said. Never has.

I harrumphed while Gene grabbed the big measuring cup. Then, gleefully, we poured almost three cups of raisins into the mixing bowl.

The muffins were stunners:

Gene and I ate one each after supper. We raved about them to one another. When I offered one to Wayne and said things like, “You don’t know what you’re missing,” and “Sometimes I think you dislike raisins just to be strong on me,” he shot me down with inspecific Wayne noises.

The baby was put to bed. The sky darkened. I noticed a grumpy look on Wayne’s face as he brought his snack into the den – a gargantuan orange. I offered a muffin for the final time and he just ignored me.

And yet. Not 10 minutes ago, after we’d packed ourselves up to go to bed, I made an unplanned detour through the kitchen to find my notebook and I stumbled upon this (warning to Raisin Haters: what you are about to see will destabilize you). I grabbed my camera and screamed to Gene.

Caught, bastardo! Eating my texturally inferior raisin bran-muffin and loving it so freaking badly that there was raisin shrapnel everywhere. Picked out and spat out, but still – plowing through that muffin like a starved POW. How’s that for a compliment.