The last few days have been wet and dreary. It feels like the rain and chill are interminable and we'll never see the sun come out from behind the dark clouds.
The air is thick with the fresh earthy scent of fresh rain. If you venture outside even for a moment you return with frizzy rain hair, water droplets decorating it like a halo of mini lights.
The normally cheerful pansies drop their tiny faces to the ground under the weight of a few raindrops. But nothing seems to dampen the spirits of this determined little bumblebee. He buzzes from flower to fragrant flower and seems to inject new life and colour into the otherwise grey world.
I decided I'd pick up where the sweet bumblebee left off and bake up some happiness of my own. There's nothing like fresh from the oven Blueberry Vanilla Bean Muffins to brighten your morning. The sweet scent of vanilla paired with the bursting flavour of blueberry.
When you're a child mom is your best friend, banisher of monsters and kisser of boo boos. When you're a teenager she's the voice of reason, enforcer of chores and face of dreaded responsibility. When you're in college she's the embodiment of worry, telephone police and always the last one to find out about anything. When you've finally settled down and maybe even starting a family of your own she's right back to being your best friend, reliable confidant, trusted adviser.
I had struggled to draw upon one memory in particular to illustrate my mom for you. I've decided I can't choose just one because so many swim to the surface. Drawing lady bugs on band aids over my scraped knees. Letting me lick the bowl and beaters. Teaching me how to thicken sauce or roll dough. Knitting into the night squinting in her tiny reading glasses. Talking in her sleep in the dim light of the TV. Driving me to piano lessons and making sure my fingernails were cut short. Passionately singing along to songs on the radio to which she only knows half the lyrics. Sending me care packages of fudge, seeds, aprons and pearls. Calmly taking my various panicked calls about the pie, custard or turkey.
It's a well known fact that all moms love muffins. Breakfast is the traditional celebratory meal for mother's day so I combined the sweetness of turbinado sugar, the enticing scent of cinnamon and the adorable tartness of cottage cheese to make this mother's day special.
I love you mom! These muffins are for you.
All around is the sound of trickling water. Icicles shrinking and dripping. The wind blows as though breathing a long baited sigh of relief. The birds sing again. The sun burns red through closed eyelids and thaws the chill from the interminable Winter.
Spring is here. In case you didn't know, Spring is my favourite season. It's when Winter fades and slowly life begins again. Winter is like living on pause. Life is frozen in place. It's time for play.
Speaking of which, I was playing with my original Banana Muffins recipe the other day and transformed it into Chocolate Banana Cinnamon Muffins. I think you'll like it.
There's about two feet of snow carpeting the ground. Icicles decorate the eaves troughs. The evergreens slouch under the new weight. The streets haven't been plowed all Winter. A single Autumn leaf clings stubbornly to the frozen ground. The temperature has plummeted to uncomfortable depths.
There's only one thing to do when the weather turns this chilly. Make Chili! The natural partner for a steaming hot bowl of Chili is, of course, Cornmeal Muffins. These aren't your average Cornmeal Muffins, folks. They're Maple Bacon Cheddar Cornmeal Muffins.
A little sweet to compliment the spice. A little hot inside to contrast the cold outside.
How else are you going to work up the nerve to shovel the driveway? Or scrape ice off the windshield? Or risk frostbite to check the mailbox? I suppose you could always just stay toasty warm inside and eat muffins for dinner. Like I did.
It should be one or the other. Not both. At the same time.
It's like my body can't decide what age I am. One minute I'm thirteen with a book report due on Of Mice and Men and the next I'm sixty-five dashing out to Denny's for the early bird special. Make up your mind!
It seems like the general public can't decide what age I am too. I get carded all the time when the rest of my table doesn't even get a second glance. Door to door salesmen ask me when my parents are going to be home. True story. So I tell them six, maybe seven o'clock so they leave me alone to wallow in my self-pity.
The one that bothers me the most is the wide-eyed looks I get from perfect strangers when my boyfriend of thirty-three introduces to them his girlfriend of twenty-four. Age is just a number. I've known people far older than me that are also far less mature. Lee and I are on the same level mentally, why do we need to be the same age?
I know. I shouldn't complain. It's a compliment. It will be useful when I get older.
For now I'm going to keep dying my hair and washing my face.
This topic really doesn't segue into muffins. At all. So I'm not going to try.
I made muffins. So there! They're awesome. They have peaches and cheesecake in them. Did I mention they're awesome?