I moved home last month. Suddenly the year in London that had seemed such a long time came to a close. Bags and boxes packed and shipped, doors locked for the last time behind me, a taxi ride across town to the Heathrow Express with MC beside me clutching our “travelling hamper” passed from Maria, to me, and now to another Maria, a last emigration through security into Terminal 5, 7 ½ hours of reading, writing, and fitful sleep interspersed with conversation with my neighbour (because I seem to have that look that welcomes strangers to converse with me), and I was running into my mom’s arms at the airport, encouraging her to speed down the highway so I could climb into my bed at last. Of course, always on the move, I only spent two nights at home before hopping in the car to drive up to New York for a good friend’s wedding and from there to the Poconos for my annual siesta by the lake.
This year was different, however. This year, added to the leaps and bounds of Rascal greeting me upon arrival were the faces of three of my cousins, whom I had not seen in over 5 years. I must admit to a wee bit of apprehension. Knowing that I was no longer the same little girl who had frolicked with them in Bermuda, I wondered what had changed for them. I needn’t have worried, though, because family is family. Our last memories of spending time together may have been growing dusty in the backs of our minds, but it didn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. Squinting over puzzle boards, helping me remember words forgotten in my state of dissertation-weariness, plucking blueberries off the bush in front of the cabin and then working together to turn them into delectable muffins. We no longer have to search in the recesses of memory, we have living memories now. It is a beautiful thing and I am grateful for it.
But now, this is a food blog, so where’s the food? Every food has a story, and as one friend recently pointed out to me, the experience and people are just as important as the food itself. So, today, after a long hiatus (sorry about that – dissertation and moving took a lot out of me!), I thought what better way to restart than with, you guessed it, blueberry muffins!
For me, summer isn’t summer without blueberries. And while, in recent years I have become slightly obsessed with blueberry cornmeal pancakes, and blueberry pie is undoubtedly the queen of summer delicacies, blueberry muffins are the unsung heroes. So simple that even in a sparsely outfitted summer kitchen you can find the ingredients, yet so delicious that it really takes all the restraint one can manage not to finish the entire batch in one sitting. Fresh from the oven. Still steaming. With the blueberries barely cooled enough to not burn at the touch. There were four of us, after all… but we did manage to restrain ourselves, so we could enjoy the fruits of our labour the next day, and the next. And you know what, they might be even better reheated in the toaster oven!
With 2 cups of blueberries, these muffins are really all about the blueberries. My mom exclaimed excitedly (and with mouth full) that she had never had such blueberry-y blueberry muffins! I usually use muffin tin liners, but since we didn’t have any, we buttered the muffin tins and I must say, I may never use liners again. The result was that not only the tops got crisp on the outside, but the bottoms too, which helped to seal in the moisture for a nice spongy interior. I also decided to throw in some cornmeal the second time I made these, because, why not?
Makes 12-16 muffins
2 2/3 cups flour (I subbed 1 cup cornmeal for 1 cup of the flour)
2 2/3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup sugar, scant (you can also use a sugar substitute, like coconut sugar and it is possibly even more delicious, because it acts like a brown sugar and caramalises)
4 TBSP melted butter, slightly cooled (or canola oil – I can never be bothered to melt and cool butter and canola works just as well)
1 cup milk
2 cups fresh blueberries
- Preheat oven to 425F (218C) and line muffin tin with cups or butter/spray the tin well.
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl (you will be adding the wet ingredients to this). Then mix together the butter, egg and milk, and add to the flour mixture, mixing quickly with a fork.
- Fold in the blueberries.
- Divide the batter between the muffin cups.
- Bake 18-20 minutes.