Glass and Muffins. But Not at the Same Time.
So. Yesterday I decided to temporarily give up my recently adopted hermit lifestyle (a lifestyle against which I would normally naturally rebel, but the recent and unusually frigid temperatures for this time of year have allowed me to adapt to it quite nicely) and brave the cold to make the hour-plus drive to Raleigh.
But Katie, why would you risk letting the perfect indent your ass has worked so hard to carve out for itself in the couch fill back in during your absence?
Well, the trip is something I’ve been putting off for quite some time. Near the end of our stay in Costa Rica, I dropped my favorite camera lens (and I only have 2 lenses) in one, horrifyingly painful moment. Onto a cement floor. And in a battle of brute strength between plastic and cement, you can guess which one wins.
The glass itself didn’t break, but there was some clear damage done to the body where it mounts to my camera. I’ve been putting off having it examined by professionals for fear of hearing the worst possible news – that my lens, my little therapeutic amulet of creativity, had officially bitten the dust.
I’ve taken most of my favorite pictures with that lens.
The answer, my friend… Is spittle in the wind….
So yesterday I grudgingly put on a long sleeve shirt (shudder) and a coat (double-shudder), climbed into the Tracker, and floored it all the way to Peace Camera in Raleigh.
I have to say that this place was the coolest little camera shop. It was packed full of books, beautiful equipment, accessories, and cameras from old timey-times. I probably would have thoroughly enjoyed it if I hadn’t just handed my precious baby off to some surly looking guy who took her into the “back room” to take a look at the damage – not without first shooting me a pitying and reprehensible look over the top of his glasses after I told him how she met her fate with the cement floor. You know, the kind of look a mother gives her toddler when she asks him in the middle of a department store if he pooped his pants and he says, “No,” but he, she, and everyone else in a 15-foot radius knows it ain’t true.
That look. It stings.
The next 20 minutes felt like I was waiting for a friend to come out of surgery. I mean, it wasn’t like the time I had to wait for my sister to have a tumor removed from her pituitary gland. Not like that. That involved my heart clawing its way up my esophagus and sitting at the back of my throat for a few hours, just waiting to expel itself from my mouth and scurry across the waiting room floor of the hospital should it hear the worst possible news.
No, this wasn’t like waiting for a super close friend or relative, but a good acquaintance, nonetheless. Someone I liked and who had thus far changed my life for the better.
I’ll cut the drama short by telling you the news wasn’t good. He was able to fix it so it mounted to the camera, but the autofocus just won’t respond. It’s like her legs are there, everything’s attached, but they just. won’t. move. So I’ll need to send her into Nikon and pay what will likely amount to half the cost of the lens in order to get her back in full-on working condition. And even if I do eventually get a job and send her in for the necessary repairs, I’m worried she’ll never be the same again.
So this morning I needed some comfort food. Something to lift my spirits. And in my experience, warm muffins on a cold winter morning are the perfect remedy for this little ache I have in my belly – an ache not only caused by the news of the near-irreparable damage I did to my lens, but also likely derived from the fact that almost all of my electronic equipment as of late has decided to give me one big fat middle finger.
I’m seriously about ready to chuck it all and move to an off-the-grid cabin in the middle of the jungle. But then I probably wouldn’t be able to make muffins. And these were good.
I didn’t take pictures of the process because – let’s face it – I was in a craptastic mood this morning and didn’t want to be reminded of the fact that it will likely be a long time before I can take any food pictures with my favorite lens again. But they smelled so dang good by the time they were done that I had to snap a few.
The recipe can be found here (this girl is brilliant when it comes to making healthy food that also happens to taste good), and the only thing I changed was that I used golden raisins instead of regular raisins. And here’s the thing about raisins – they taste good, but what is with that texture?? I’m not sure how I felt about the wrinkly little squishy things in my muffins. But the good news is that you could leave ’em out if you’re not sure either. The muffins would, however, be delicious with chocolate chips.
Whole Wheat Pumpkin (Raisin) Muffins
You will need:
- 1 c. whole wheat flour
- 2/3 c. white flour
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. cloves
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 c. canned pumpkin (not pie filling – just plain pumpkin)
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 c. water
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 1/2 c. raisins (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to 350-degrees F and spray a 12 cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (first 9 ingredients).
3. In a small bowl, stir together the wet ingredients (last 5 ingredients).
4. Very gently stir the wet ingredients in with the dry, just until everything is moist. (Erin will hate me for using that word, moist. It disturbs her.) The point is to not over-work the batter.
5. Spoon the batter evenly into 12 greased muffin cups. Then bake at 350-degrees F for 22-25 minutes (or in my crazy-hot oven, 20 minutes at 345-degrees). They’re done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Let them cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, then dump them out onto a wire rack.
Oh my. These made my kitchen smell like Christmas and hugs. It didn’t even matter that I was the only one eating them this morning – they were pure comfort in the convenient form of little round muffins. And they’re fairly healthy, so I didn’t even feel bad that I ate 6 of them.
Okay! Don’t give me the look the mom gives the poopy pants kid! I only ate 2.