It’s been a strange time in my life.
On the surface, it’s all the same. Life hasn’t changed. We still do what we do. I still do what I do, offline, online.
But there is a shift. Somewhere deep inside me.
I can’t quite put my finger on it, on how it feels, but I feel a little unsettled. It’s not uncomfortable, just unfamiliar.
It is why I haven’t been writing much. At least, nothing I can publish. My thoughts are muddied, my words, inarticulate. I say too much, then, not enough. I feel like there are stories within me, but I’m having trouble reaching them.
So, I bake.
Measuring, weighing, mixing, tasting. It brings a calm to my mind, and a delicious smell to my home.
Baking is like a delicious substitute to writing. Putting together a bunch of ingredients, to create something you can sink your teeth into. Almost like stringing coherent sentences together to move your heart. Except right now, I think I bake better than I write.
I have been really behind with writing assignments, and I can’t seem to get to them. My head is not in the game.
However, I will be published somewhere new soon, which is exciting. I think once that comes to fruition, I will have the momentum I need.
I say need, because not writing is hurting me. Haunting me. I think about it all the time. Writing. Not being able to. Wanting to.
I need my writing mojo back.
In the meantime, here’s a recipe. It”s a little sweet, has a slight zing, and an amazing crunchy bite to it, thanks to the streusel topping. It’s like a muffin representation of what I think my life needs right now: some sweet, a touch of zing, and crunchy (hah!) excitement.
- streusel topping (see ingredients below)
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 2 cups + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 7 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon loosely-packed lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons melted butter, slightly cooled
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup raw/ cane sugar
- Preheat oven to 350º. Line a baking pan with 14-16 liners, or grease with cooking spray (I used silicone liners).
- Prepare the streusel topping according to instructions below.
- In a small mixing bowl, toss blueberries with 3 tablespoons of flour until blueberries are coated. Pour the blueberries through a sift to shake off any excess flour. Set aside.
- In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl (or an electric stand mixer), whisk together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, vanilla essence, milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and continue whisking until smooth. Fold in flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined. Carefully stir in blueberries.
- Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full of batter. Sprinkle each cup of batter with about 1 tablespoon of streusel topping.
- Bake at 350º for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- Let muffins cool for a few minutes in the muffin pan before removing to cool on a wire rack.
- Serve immediately or store in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
- Whisk together all ingredients until combined and mixture is crumbly.
What unsettles you?