Set aside my prejudice that muffins are not the healthy breakfast option it aims to be, I love to bake muffins. They are not challenging. They barely dirty any mixing bowls. They can be made from pantry staples without a special trip to the grocery store. I always feel a bit nostalgic because muffins are one of the first North American treats I learned to bake.
My best friend remembers in vivid details the time she stayed over at my place and woke up to the smell of freshly made blueberry muffins. That must have been over ten years ago. It was a small gesture on my part because the house was devoid of breakfast food. But it left a deep impression on her because fresh out of the oven muffins was an unexpected treat. That was when I learned the crowd pleasing quality of muffins.
I don’t have a favourite muffin recipe. Part of the fun is trying out different recipes. The flavour is always familiar. I rarely branch out to more adventurous combinations because muffins just seem like the wrong canvas for experimentation. However, within the familiar confines of blueberry, lemon, banana, bran, chocolate, cranberry, pumpkin, I’m happy to play around with minor adjustments.
This morning I woke up to dark sky and sound of raindrops hitting the roof. I can no longer dismiss the chill in the air. I bundled up in a cozy cardigan as I enjoyed my morning coffee. Where did summer go? My race season is quickly winding down with only a trip to Berlin and Atlanta in my immediate future. Summer 2012 was a blur of getting injured and recovering from injuries. After last weekend, I’m once again wrapped up in bandages.
I can blame it on bad luck and whine about a season that derailed to unexpected direction. However, when I sat in the first aid tent, I saw so many other friends who were hurt much worse than I was. I am incredibly lucky that my head remains unharmed last weekend. It could have been a lot worse. I shudder to think about the worst case scenario.
Even though I’m dragging my leg around in pain, I managed to make a batch of lemon poppy seed muffins easily. The recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home To Yours. It is available online from the Tuesdays with Dorie cooking group. These muffins are definitely crowd pleasers but they also please me with their good looks and ease. I like muffins with tall round domes and golden crust.
The lemon glaze is entirely optional but I think the extra shot of bright citrus suits this rainy day perfectly. The weather may be gloomy and my body is in pain but my spirit is lifted by the mere sight of these lovelies. If only they were baked for me by a loved one!