Do you ever get stuck?
There are quite a few other things to do, but all that you can muster is hunkering down with a blanket and a book. Or maybe an episode of Doctor Who or two, but definitely still with a cozy blanket.
My mental to-do list whirs in the periphery: there are cases of tiny jars that need filling with tasty things, the dishwasher needs unloading, I should get in touch with that DJ we talked to, Trooper always likes a walk, sewing and knitting projects to finish…
But I’m stuck. Like baked on lasagna to a dish, I just don’t want to come off.
It’s one of those weeks I guess. Not a good time for layer cakes, I don’t have the gumption for whipping eggs or cream, or making filling and stacking the whole thing together. It’s the type of week for muffins. Mix until it just comes together, anything more will make them get hard like stones? Sounds like a plan.
Blueberry Lemon Thyme Muffins
2 Cups rolled oats
2 Cups soured milk
2 1/4 Cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 tsp salt
1 Cup brown sugar
1/3 Cup melted butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 Cups blueberries
the zest of a lemon
1 tsp thyme
- In a bowl, pour the soured milk into the rolled oats. Set aside to soak.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar.
- Separately, combine the eggs, butter and vanilla.
- Stir the egg mixture into the soaked oats.
- Toss the blueberries through the dry ingredients, this will help keep the berries suspended in the batter.
- Bring the wet and dry together, stirring minimally, until they just come together.
- Spoon into muffin tins, so that the wells are about 3/4 of the way full.
- Bake at 400° for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops start to go golden (~10 minutes for mini muffins).
A blueberry muffin will always win in my books, especially when brightened up with lemon. And the little bit of thyme thrown in for good measure adds a subtle herbaceous feel to the background flavor. Overall quite a nice muffin; I find the texture you get from a muffin batter started with soaking rolled oats in milk is hard to beat.
Mr says muffins are tastier when they’re mini.
This time last year: Mushroom Cranberry Pilaf
And the year before: Pear Upside Down Brownie
Granita is the perfect kind of recipe to make on a day like this. No, it isn’t beautiful and sunny out, which would be another good time for granita making. It’s actually pretty rainy in these parts, with storm warnings to boot. Today has been quite a day. Let’s just say that work didn’t go well. After driving home crying, sitting in traffic crying, getting home and crying and then cuddling all my crying out, I need to do some serious thinking.
Granita is perfect for thinking. You boil some blueberries for a few minutes, and while waiting for them to cool you have time to think think think.
Then you puree them and mix them with all of the other ingredients, and question the validity and reasoning behind all of your previous thoughts. Yes, I used my Magic Bullet Blender for the puree step, it was a great Christmas present (thanks Mum!) and pureed quite admirably.
After stirring in the rest of the ingredients you let it sit in the freezer a spell, giving you some time to worry about leaving a job that is mostly perfect for you. Bring it out of the freezer and break it up with a spoon, wondering what the right thing to do is. Put it back in the freezer and reflect some more. Repeat the scraping and freezing until you have a sublime frozen treat, like a granular sorbet. Or of course, you could make it on a hot, sunny day where a cooling snack would refresh remarkably. Either way, a person feeling pensive or overheated would enjoy it equally I would think.
(adapted from Oh-So-Blueberry Ice, Vegetarian Times July 2005)
2 C blueberries (thawed if frozen)
1/2 C water
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C lemon juice
1-355 mL can of ginger ale
- In a saucepan, bring blueberries, water and sugar to a boil. Simmer until the blueberries are bursting out of their skins (4 or 5 minutes) and then allow to cool to room temperature.
- Puree the blueberries until, well pureed, and having smooth consistency.
- Pour the blueberry puree into a metal baking pan and add the lemon juice and ginger ale. Stir to combine.
- Pop it in the freezer (hopefully you have a level surface to put it on), and leave for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the freezer and scrape with a spoon to break up the forming ice crystals (make sure to get into the corners! They freeze first!).
- Return it to the freezer, waiting half an hour and then rescraping. Repeat until fully frozen in crystallized granules.
- Spoon into bowls, or leave in the freezer for later use. Hopefully it would get eaten in the next day or so, or else the texture will start to be lost.
The blueberries had fantastic flavor. The lemon juice added an extra sparkle to the granita, while the ginger ale added a lovely hint of effervescence. It’s worth all of the waiting for it to freeze, and it definitely brightened my day.
Thanks to Brian for the last photo in this post. You Sir, are a much more talented photographer than I.