It’s been a long time, fellow Feasters! So without further ado, here goes.
Three weeks ago Jonji surprised me with a late anniversary gift, which turned out to be an evening watching Nick Swardson perform live. Little did we know, the “friends” in the title of the event included an awesome, hilarious magician (I don’t know how the guy did what he did—I’m not to even going to try to comprehend anymore, but it was awesome), David Spade, and Adam Sandler. The latter was absolutely hilarious, singing a slew of weird, impromptu songs that had everyone rolling in their seats. Jonji and I were in the second row, so we’re 99% sure we made eye contact with all of them. Since we couldn’t take photos there, here’s a picture of Kitty instead.
The weekend after that show we journeyed back home to meet the newest member of the family, Arrow Barber. We got there on Friday night at 10:30 PM and left on Sunday at 10:30 AM—it was a little crazy. We fit plenty of baby time in (I always forget how tiny newborns actually are!), as well as time with the rest of the family. I spent one evening at my parents’ house, gorging myself on lamb shoulder and apple pie, as well as laughing with everyone around a cozy fire. On Sunday morning we had breakfast with the Barbers and then took what was supposed to be a relaxing stroll along East Cliff, but which turned into a rescue mission when a young surfer didn’t know how to come in when the tide was so high. Pat, who was fortunately wearing board shorts, stripped down and went after the guy, who was being slammed against the cliffs so hard I thought for sure he would pass out. After several tense minutes, he managed to grab the guy’s leash and Jonji ran down to help them walk to the stairs. Everyone ended up safe and sound, and then Jonji and I got ready for the long drive back home.
I’m sure you can guess what the last few weeks of life have been filled with. If you guessed homework, you are right. One enjoyable aspect of recent homework was when I baked bread last week and brought it into class. Since one of my main projects is about my design and lifestyle affinities, clearly bread-making had to show up at some point. I went full Mom-style, bringing a cutting board, bread knife (not sure how legal that was), and butter in a jar to school and proceeded to cut chunks for people to try.
I am also really into my school schedule right now, which includes a coding class (I LOVE it), a web design class, typography (of course), and a graphic novel memoir class. The last one consists of reading graphic novels (surprise, surprise) and writing about ourselves—which, clearly, I am ok with doing.
Another exciting development is the growth of my narcissus bulbs, which are extremely happy in my little garden. Jonji often finds me fondly looking out the window at the blooming beauties, and laughs when I exclaim over their progress every day. Exciting stuff!
The following recipe has always been Emma’s all-time favorite from Mom’s muffin repertoire. It recently resurfaced when my mom went hunting in her old recipe binders, after Emma begged her to make the muffins multiple times. And there’s a good reason for her obsession: the little raspberry gems that burst out of the sweet, fluffy muffin are like fireworks on a warm night. Note: I may be a food snob, but I’m ok with using frozen raspberries for this recipe because they work well and taste just as good as fresh ones when baked (plus they’re a lot cheaper—gotta stay practical). These muffins are highly photogenic, so I’m sorry (but kind of not sorry) ahead of time for including so many photos in this post.
Emma’s Favorite Raspberry Muffins
makes 12–14 muffins
for the crumble topping:
1/3 cup oats or walnuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg (optional: coriander and cardamom)
2 tbsp butter, cut into small cubes
for the muffins:
2 cups flour (for GF use a combo of white rice and oat flours)
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
6 tbsp butter, melted
2 cups raspberries (frozen or fresh)
First make the crumble topping. Combine the oats (or nuts), brown sugar, flour and nutmeg in a small bowl. Sprinkle in the chunks of butter and mix as well as you can, trying the break the butter into pea-sized pieces, rather like pie dough. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Mix the dry ingredients—flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt—in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, sour cream, and melted butter. Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and fold in with a rubber spatula, mixing until just combined. Fold in the raspberries. Spoon (or ice cream scoop) the batter into a greased muffin pan. Top each spoonful with crumble topping, pressing down slightly. Bake for 25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!