There’s a writing habit I try to avoid. I call it “bookending,” couching my main point in apologetic language. You don’t have to do it this way, it’s what works for us! I’m not saying there’s something wrong with anyone who does it differently, but…! There are more subtle ways to do this, for example when I was in university I often softened my opinions by saying many nice things about something I was about to criticise, and other times I would make a statement – one I did truly believe – but add that I had not done my research, and oh, you know, I don’t really know what I’m talking about. 

I’m not the only one who does this. Most conversations I have with people involve apologetic language, blogs I read are full of apologies, the mom blogs are the biggest culprits. I wonder sometimes if this is one way post modernism impacts each of us – we are unwilling to fully own our opinions because everyone else’s thoughts are valid, welcome, accepted, even the ones that are contrary to ours. When we share our thoughts, however simple and unimportant they may be, we need to couch it in apologies so that the people we share it with do not feel offended.

What a wretched way to live. Not all ideas are created equal, not all opinions are created equal, and not all ways of life are created equal.

What does this have to do with that delicious, moist blueberry lemon muffin? Not much except that when I started writing this, I felt like I needed to apologize via sarcasm or a clever comment for a second muffin post in one week, and then I thought to myself, thisisridiculous, and then I reminded myself that this year, on this blog, I am not bookending my thoughts, I am not apologizing for them, I am not saying that there could be a better way of doing something or a different way of doing something. I am embracing what is happening in our lives, I am going to go deeper into my mind and my heart, I will share it, the end.

So this muffin.

I loved it. The taste is simple and classic, sweet and tart, but its texture was my favourite part, so soft and moist. When I started making it, I was laughing at myself because this recipe has both baking soda and baking powder and requires the use of a hand mixer, in other words, this is serious work for a non-baker. Then I discovered I didn’t have enough butter, so I had to make two-thirds of the recipe and did not want to leave our flat to buy more. That is how much I did not want to leave my flat because if you know me at all, you know that I have zero – ZERO – desire to venture into the mental math territory, nevermind a mental math situation that is a bit less straightforward than doubling or cutting a recipe in half.  What is two-thirds of half a teaspoon of baking soda? What is two-thirds of two eggs? This is why I don’t bake, I told myself through gritted teeth as I mixed away.

But I went there, to the edge of mathematical and chemical adventures, and everything worked out just fine. Muffins are the best concoctions to try if you do not consider yourself adept in the baking department. They are forgiving little creatures. Tasty, too.

  • Blueberry Lemon Muffins (from Confections of a Foodie Bride, an excellent baking blog)   I followed the recipe as specified with two exceptions – I did not use lemon zest but used lemon juice instead (I feel uncomfortable using the zest of non-organic lemons, which I have yet to find in our supermarket), and I added strawberries. You really could use any fruit, but lemon and blueberry is a lovely combination. I probably put more lemon juice in than needed, but I liked the tart taste in the end. Depending on how tart your batter is, the sugar can be reduced to make it more breakfast appropriate.  If you used only a tiny bit of lemon, I think you could halve the sugar, and it would be fine.