Sunday, January 26, 2014

With Love and Muffins,

Procrastination runs deep this morning.  I have a pile of work glaring at me, and so I avert my eyes to somewhere else.  Naturally, if I can’t see it, it doesn’t actually exist, right?  With my youngest battling a cold, complete with fever and a cough, I’ve determined that this fine 19 degree day would best be spent minding the needs of my youngest, infusing the house with the sweet smells of baked goods and O.K., perhaps tending the pile of work that I can feel staring at me from the other room.

And with this our morning begins, with muffins made from my tried and true all-things-muffin cookbook.  There are very few cookbooks that I use as religiously as this one but, Mad About the Muffins, is for me, the one to beat.   

My love for muffins goes way back to my childhood.  They were a treat on Saturday mornings when my Mom would make them.  She had many great recipes, too.  There is a zucchini muffin recipe that I remember her making that is sort of MIA and every once in a while I am reminded that we need to send out a search party for this recipe. 

Fast forward 20 years or so, I am now married.   We don’t have any children yet, and my husband and I have just purchased our first home.  As a teacher, I have my summers for my own volition, and some of those summer days I was greeted at the back door by my Dad, coming for a visit and a coffee.  Sometimes he’d bring muffins and coffee from a favorite local bakery, New Boston Bakery, and sometimes we would drive to the bakery to sit on their patio, among their expansive flower beds, and talk. 

Even after having my two boys, New Boston Bakery continued to be a destination to enjoy, first with their chubby toddler fingers pointing at the muffin they wanted and then as school boys asking for two muffins instead of one because they were just that hungry. 

Now, although I enjoy frequenting my favorite bakeries, I can’t deny that my own kitchen is on that list.  And, thanks to my favorite muffin cookbook, I can compete with the best of them (in my opinion, anyway).  If there is any way to get my boys to drop what they’re doing, whether it is playing with Legos or creating in Minecraft, it is by asking them to come and help me make some muffins. 


Today’s choice, based on ingredients on hand, were some particularly yummy Four Chip Muffins.   As always, I couldn’t just follow the recipe without tweaking it.  I didn’t have all four types of chips on hand, but I did have three.  I also didn’t have walnuts so I decided to add some cereal into the batter; a lovely limited edition brand of Special K, pictured above.  I'm not sure I would do this again.   The texture that the flakes assumed was somewhat unusual, to me, but no one else found it strange. 

And so, I feel, it is the humble muffin that deserves some thanks here today.  In all the ways a person can enjoy a muffin and for all the ingredients that can be added to a basic muffin recipe I am supremely thankful.  Because it is this food staple, that has shown me the way to countless moments of affection.

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