This is what I did today.
I browned some butter.
Zested a lime.
Listened to some Eminem… yeah, I did.
I buttered a muffin tin.
Whisked together some eggs and milk and vanilla.
Whisked together some spelt flour and baking powder and plain flour and salt. And sugar. Can’t forget the sugar.
I took photos without the flash because they look less harsh that way. Maybe a little fuzzier and retro looking. That’s ok.
See my blue fingernails? I don’t usually paint my nails because I work in hospitality but my two week (almost – had to work yesterday:) break meant I could. Hence. The green and red tea towel matches the cranberries and limes. My favourite apron, complete with pocket for my camera, and the moccies I always cook in.
I opened the curtains and was glad the heater worked.
I stirred the contents of three bowls and a saucepan together – and then I washed those dishes while these muffins baked.
I made myself a cup of coffee. Mmm… coffee…
And then I ate me some muffins.
Sometimes, I forget that I have to look after myself, forget trying to fill other people’s holes, and let God fill mine. Sometimes, I have to remember that I have something to offer as well, but I have to take time to be me and do stuff for me otherwise I’ll lose it. Sometimes, you just need to make some muffins and some coffee and sit down and eat them. Because it’s good.
Sometimes you just need to bake for you. Not for anyone else, to get anyone’s attention or friendship or love or acceptance or gratitude. Just for you, because you love to bake, the physical action, the ingredients, sights, smells, tastes. Just because.
Brown Butter Cranberry Lime Muffins
Adapted from Joy the Baker
100g butter, unsalted
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon (or capful) vanilla extract
zest of one lime
1 1/2 cups plain flour – I used 1 cup wholemeal spelt and 1/2 cup plain white. Good.
1 teaspoon salt
170g dried cranberries (or 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, if you have them)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Butter and flour a 12 cup muffin pan (I never usually do this but I was out of paper cases. By all means, use them if you’ve got them.
If you’re using dried cranberries, pour them into a bowl and cover them with 1/2 cup water. Set aside.
Place the butter in a small, heavy bottomed saucepan. Melt for about ten minutes on medium-low heat. Keep a close eye – you want the butter to be brown, not burnt. Swirl the pan every few minutes. It’ll get frothy and emit a beautiful nutty smell. Take off the heat.
Whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla and lime zest together.
Whisk the sugar, flour(s), salt and baking powder together.
Make a well in the dry ingredients. Pour all the wet ingredients in (not the cranberries!) and stir together.
Drain the cranberries and fold them in thoroughly. Scoop into the prepared muffin tin and bake 18-20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Cool 5 minutes in the tin, then invert and cool on a rack or board. Eat at once, or when at room temperature.
I had a pretty good day on Friday. Sleep in, picnic, walk in the park, cupcakes and pizza. I thought I might share some pictures because I like taking pictures and I took a lot. I’m getting in the groove because I figured before I ask for a super fancy camera for my birthday, I’d better know whether I was going to use it. Right?
And, yes, that means that right now I use a point and click. Hey, a girl’s gotta have some sort of pictures on her food blog, right?
Right again. So.
This is my bed. I like to make my bed in the mornings… yeah, the picture’s a little wonky. Sorry. I had to get up early to drive my brother to work experience. I then slept another three hours. I love sleeping in.
I saw a beautiful sunrise this morning. I didn’t take photos because I was driving.
After I got up, at approximately noon, I messed around on the internet and wrote you some words. Then I took in the washing and took some photos of some flowers.
I went to the library to borrow some books… and to scan in a design for a camp I lead on in September. It’s called… September Camp. Surprise!
I can’t show you the design because it’s a secret still. I think.
Then I went on a picnic in the park.
I got coffee and a toastie from this place called Yarra Coffee. Good coffee – you can buy beans there too! – and great food. I got the #5 toastie, with avocado, tomato, fetta, pesto, baby spinach and possibly one more ingredient I can’t remember. I had a choice between olive and rosemary sourdough or plain. I chose olive and rosemary. Yum!
I went on a walk around the lake and listened to the Joy the Baker podcast with Joy and Tracy from Shutterbean (available from Homefries). I love going for walks! Me and my roommate went on walks around the lake pretty much every day for a while there last year.
Beautiful day for a walk. I really loved the look of these rushes. Oh! Unfortunately, I wanted to feed some scraps and duds to the ducks but I wasn’t allowed. Sad face.
I was going to make muffins but decided to make cupcakes instead when I saw local strawberries for sale.
And then I went to hang out with friends and eat pizza. And talk about camp. Excited!
How was your Friday?
It’s what you call flowers that hang over fences and reach over footpaths, begging you to take them home. (When I say you, I mean me. And when I mean me, I mean, I got the term from Brigid Lowry).
So you take a walk, refreshing yourself after work, perhaps; or maybe you can’t sleep; you want to lose weight; you like chasing butterflies… any or all of the above, or perhaps a new reason, one you thought up all on your own. There are as many reasons to take a walk as there are people; as many as there are walking paths, footpaths, roads, landmarks, trees, flowers, stars in the sky.
You see a flower hanging over the footpath. Maybe it’s so far over that you will run into it unless you duck or bob or weave. Maybe it’s just peeking over shyly, like you were at the club on Saturday night, wishing that cute boy would come over and ask you to dance. Maybe it’s on the nature strip, in a bed in a public garden, maybe it’s right in front of your feet.
Say hello. Whisper sweet nothings into its petals. Stroke its leaves and inhale its sweet fragrance. Take it home and place it in a glass, or a bud vase, or a kitsch retro teapot. Make friends with it and let it into your heart. When it dies, say goodbye and thank you for the ride, for making your day one with a flower in it.
Today I took myself out for coffee.
You may think that this was a token for holding the lonely at bay but I am, in fact, trying to get to know myself. I am in the process of becoming friends with myself, of believing that I am, in fact, worthy of friendship. Because I am.
I’m sure I will believe it fully one day, but for now I must be patient.
Because as I try to be better (and remind myself do or do not – there is no try) I believe that to do so, I have to believe that I can. And to do that, I have to love myself, because you don’t believe in people you don’t love. Or at least, there is always an underlying belief that it won’t happen and if it does, it doesn’t mean much.
So I went for a drive, because we all gotta go places, and I bought a coffee and sat for a while and watched the people; I saw a couple who had matching converse on and a girl with a motorbike and several skateboarders and some really cool shoes. I walked for a while and went into bookshops and vintage clothing stores and bought ice cream. And I drove again and sat again and wondered.
Because wandering around aimlessly is toxic if you wonder what the point of it all is, if you really have no purpose and aim simply to fill in time or rather, not; but if the point is the sun and your own company, wandering and wondering can be quite therapeutic.
So hold your heart and move, gorgeous and affecting, to your music. Believe in yourself. Dance like no one’s watching; because they’re probably not. Enjoy your company, because you’re stuck with it. Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is youer than you!
But if you do decide to take yourself out for coffee, dress up. Be nice to yourself. Impress yourself. Be happy.