One lesson that I’ve recently been taught by life is that it (life) does not always turn out as you expect it to. Life is a long and winding road, full of unexpected turns, unanticipated road blocks, and even annoying construction. The route that you map out – your plan – does not always work out, and sometimes you need to reroute. I can imagine that lady’s voice – you know, the one that seems to be present on all GPS systems – saying, “Turn around! Wrong way! Recalculating…” Her voice is so annoying.
Figuring out a new route can be difficult, stressful, frustrating. Life tossed me a curve ball a few months back, and I am doing my best to find a new way, to challenge myself and figure it all out. And figuring it out? Well, that’s a whole different ball game. Last week, another curve ball was thrown into my world. A good friend was killed in an accident. A kind, wonderful, sweet, beautiful friend, suddenly taken at age 27. Aren’t you supposed to attend the funeral of your friend when you’re both old and gray, after living a full life? That was my expectation.
I’m not quite ready to write about my friend. It all feels a bit too surreal right now. So instead, I bake. Because with baking, you can have expectations. I can be certain that if I combine the right amount of flour with the right amount of baking powder, sugar, eggs, milk, butter…and if I bake it all up at this temperature for that amount of time…I can expect a delicious outcome. Sure, things can go wrong in the oven from time to time. Cakes can flop, cookies can burn, bread might not rise. But most often, the science of baking delivers expected results. And if a great batch of muffins is all I can count on right now, then so be it.
You can count on these muffins. You can count on them being delicious, and you can count on them being eaten in short order. And you can probably count on the fact that you have blueberries sitting in your fridge or freezer right now.
Win! Use ’em up friends, and make these reliable little muffins. For once, expect the expected.
Blueberry Lemon Muffins (slightly adapted from Enjoy, The Best of Bridge Series)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Zest from one lemon
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup fresh (or frozen) blueberries
1/4 cup butter, melted
Juice from one lemon
1/3-1/2 cup sugar
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Prepare a muffin tin (12) by greasing or lining the cups. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Beat the egg, milk, and butter in a separate bowl. Add the vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed (the batter will be lumpy). Fold in the blueberries. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes.
For the topping: Combine the melted butter and lemon juice in a small bowl. Put the sugar in a separate bowl. When the muffins are slightly cooled (but still warm), dunk the top of each muffin into the butter/lemon juice mixture, and then into the sugar. Enjoy!