This week was definitely going to be another busy one, there were dinners to make, money to make, things to clean, kids to clean, laundry to do, essays to write, classes to sit through, brakes to fix (which my husband swears he can’t hear screeching), and an Ikea trip on the horizon. Earlier in the day I was organizing my cookbook shelf. Yes, I was organizing my cookbook shelf. I’ve been on a cleaning kick lately and I’m the type of person that once I start I just can’t stop until everything in the house is organized to perfection. Sure, call it a mild case of OCD. I have recently started cleaning out my kitchen; everything I never used had to go. I even tackled the dreaded Tupperware drawer. You would think my mother-in-law was visiting or something. Well, in fact she is, T-5 days until the airport pickup.
I stumbled across an old cookbook, a fancy one with glossy pictures on every page, written by my household idol, Martha Stewart. I don’t recall ever using this one, and the dust proved it. I never really attempted baking, I was more of a pasta recipe kind of chef. Flipping through I envisioned making these decadent cakes, heartwarming pies and to die for muffins – and the bread section was dauntingly delicious to boot. I had my sights set on the apple pie, the coffee cake and the blueberry muffins. I shut the book hoping one day soon I’d make something, but knowing it would probably sit on the shelf until the next cookbook organizing day.
Later that evening, around 7pm, when usually I would be getting ready to watch Bravo or HBO, a mood struck me.
Perhaps it was a craving too big to ignore. In one fell swoop I declared I was going food shopping, grabbed my purse and swiped the keys. I took the blueberry muffin recipe with me. I knew if I didn’t do it now, I never would.
Why the muffins? What better to make on a Sunday night than blueberry muffins!? Well, there was something on the next page that was better, and by better I only mean healthier, something called Healthy Morning Muffins. But who wants to make something healthy their first time out? I thought if I did that and they turned out tasting “too healthy” a.k.a. like straw, my guinea pigs would turn on me; I might not be able to get my family to eat my future, more delicious, creations. So Blueberry muffins it was.
First thing I did was wipe off the dust from my blue electric mixer – the practically industrial size mixer that’s been sitting on my countertop taking up space for 4 years (literally, 4 years). Dust was becoming a trend I noticed – but not anymore! It was like new, and why wouldn’t it be when no one has ever used it before, well, except for as a towel rack. Now that I had all the ingredients from my impulse shopping trip I got to work . . . well, more like play.
I followed the recipe steps only stopping to admire how well things were turning out.
At one point I remember thinking to myself, “don’t you love it when the amount of vanilla you have left is the exact amount the recipe calls for?” Look at that, I’m sounding like a pastry chef already! I must have been talking to myself too because at one point my husband called in and asked who I had been talking to for the last half hour. . .
When I pulled the muffins out of the oven they were beautiful. And for once, they actually looked like the picture in the cookbook! Thank you Martha! I think it’s time I dusted off the things in life that not only make the house cleaner, but make me happier too.
Btw, I’ve eaten three of my muffins so far and they’re everything I hoped they would be. Hmmm, maybe it is time for those Healthy Morning Muffins after all. I just might try to “Julia & Julia” my way through Martha’s Baking Essentials.
Sara Jennings is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire