I Again Doing

Big, bad, way-too-long spell of no blogging here in these parts. I’m blaming it on a wicked jag of depression.

BOOM! That was kind of the way it hit me, right about the time we became kidless. Remember back in college, the way you’d get sick as soon as your last final was over? It was like that. One minute I was busily ticking off the grown-up pleasantries I’d be enjoying whilst footloose and fancy free, the next I felt like I was wading my way through a vat of scratchy wool socks.

It’s been a doozy of a summer. I’m deeming 2012 The Year We Racked Up Scads of High Ticket Stressors. There, now that’s done.

Things I regularly contemplate:

  1. Swan diving into a vat of melted chocolate.
  2. Groaning “woe is me” over and over while lying face-down on my fire escape.
  3. Becoming the Haagen-Dazs stockholders’ top financier.

Things I have tried to do instead:

  1. Get my butt back into a regular yoga routine. Oof.
  2. Sleep more, and get up earlier.
  3. Go to the library.

Here’s proof.

I had forgotten how much I love going to the library and ADHDing my way through 78 random books. It’s the paper version of shiny things.

Oh, and Camilla V. Saulsbury? She’s a muffin maven. Oh mah goodness, the recipes in this book are insane. I may be able to credit this woman with single-handedly plucking me out of my no-baking rut. Groovily enough, the borrowing of this book paired neatly with my recent acquisition of an excellent, high-self-esteem muffin tin, courtesy of the State College, Pennsylvania Goodwill (a.k.a. The Land of Discarded George Foreman Grills, Fraternity Formal Wine Glasses, and Other Objets D’Treasure).

No, you may not have my $3 vessel of wonder and awe.

My first crack at muffining was pumpernickel, from Saulsbury’s Lunch and Dinner Muffins chapter. Really freaking good. You need to make these. You’ll be glad you did.

Julia (to the 11-yr-olds sprawled on the couch watching Hairspray): “Did you know that the actor playing the mom is actually a man?”

Momentary pause.

Lil: “Is he transgender?”

Julia: “No, just a cross-dresser.”

(Movie watching resumes.)

Yes, we say stuff like this in real life.

Joe (later): “I think Jenna might be dead.”

This could be me, based on the past couple of weeks. Except I’d at least try not to let you see all my neeples.

Don’t you be eyeballing me, girls.

Pumpernickel Muffins

(adapted from Camilla Saulsbury’s 750 Muffin Recipes)

1 1/4 cups rye flour

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 egg

1 cup buttermilk (I used the substitute milk-plus-vinegar method)

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and grease a 12-cup muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk first five (dry) ingredients.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients until well blended.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just blended.
  5. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.
  6. Bake 20-25 minutes, until tops spring back when touched and/or the toothpick test comes clean.

In the words of the 11-yr-old, “These muffins rock. I didn’t think pumpernickel could do that.”

(For the record, I did.)

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