Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Infamous Apple Muffins

For Christmas my oldest brother's wife gave me a recipe box filled with her favourite recipes. It was the perfect gift since I have been trying harder to make decent food for myself and expand on my kitchen skills. In the box was my 4 year old nephews favourite apple muffins- something he can't get enough of when she bakes them for breakfast for the kids.

I finally decided to try out the recipe last week. It has been on my list of things to try for weeks and I had even bought all the necessary ingredients a long time ago. I made the mistake of saying I was making apple muffins on my Facebook page, where all my brothers could read.

This created quite the furor as my youngest brother started trying to weasel some fresh muffins out of me- it was his birthday after all that day. Soon a couple more of my brother's were jumping in, along with their friends and some of my own friends. It was creating quite the facebook sensation, something I never could have anticipated. Everyone wanted the apple muffins.

My youngest brother is very persuasive. So, the next day I agreed to drive on down to the old University town where he is finishing up his final year to bring him fresh muffins and have lunch together for his birthday. I was easily persuaded since it is the last time I can do something like that with him. He's graduating this summer and moving back home to get a job. It is the end of an era and I wanted to be there with him one last time, since I was the one who moved him into his rez in first year and we shared a lot of good times together on that campus.

Later I posted the recipe for the apple muffins on Facebook, after a couple of requests, and kicked off an apple muffin baking storm as several of my friends from all over Canada fired up their ovens to try them out. As my nephew and Quiet Confidence can attest, these are good! They're more of a dessert, but make a sinfully delicious breakfast, especially the next day when all the flavours have started to mellow together. Really, the muffin mix is just a conduit for the apples and that's what makes them so perfect.

Apple Muffins

1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg beaten
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cups chopped apples
1 tbsp cream (I substituted with milk since I don’t keep cream in the house and it was fine)

Cream shortening and sugar together. Add vanilla and beaten egg.
Stir together dry ingredients and add wet ingredients, stirring just to moisten.
Add apples and cream gently.

Fill greased muffin cups and bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Made to Order

A couple of days ago I was cleaning out my desk drawers and found something I had written out about 2 or 3 years ago. It was a list of all the qualities I was looking for in a partner and all the things that would be “deal breakers” to a lasting relationship. I remember that after I had finished writing out this list I had quietly folded it up and put it away in my desk because I felt like I would never be able to find a man who encapsulated all of those qualities. In order to avoid more heartache it was better if I didn’t think about it anymore, particularly since I was dating yet another Mr. All Wrong.

Deal Breakers:
  1. Smoking, in any form.
  2. Atheist (something I’m not too concerned with now, however fanatical atheism is still a deal breaker).
  3. Possessing only a High School diploma.
  4. Calling me a bitch in any context- joking or not.
  5. An inability to get along with my family.
  6. An inability to compromise.
  7. Immaturity.
  8. Lies- big or small is immaterial.
  9. Obsessive or controlling.
  1. Fiscally responsible.
  2. Educated- College or beyond (prefer University).
  3. Respectful, polite.
  4. Family is important to him- maintains a good relationship with family.
  5. Flexible, can compromise.
  6. Honest, can communicate.
  7. Reads or at least can respect books and self-improvement.
  8. Movie buff.
  9. Athletic.
  10. Common background or at least an ability to relate.
  11. Supportive of my goals and independence.
  12. Independent- can cook, clean, do laundry and generally take care of himself.
  13. Values education.
Reading this over now I was somewhat surprised to discover that Quiet Confidence has every single one of these things that I was looking for so long ago. I shouldn’t be so surprised, but at the time it felt like an impossible task. Yet today it seems so logical that I would find the person I was writing about. Subconsciously that list was always with me, I just didn’t have enough self-respect at the time to say I deserved to be with someone who checked off all the right boxes and none of the bad ones. It’s still a struggle some days to have the confidence and love for myself to say I deserve all of this, but I’m working on it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Luck Has Nothing To Do With It

A soft hand was slowly gliding up and down my naked back, tracing the lines of my body in the dark. His gentle fingertips followed the curve of my spine before retracing their way back towards my neck. As I basked in the overwhelming sense of love and security my body started to relax and my breath slowed.

As I felt myself drifting off to sleep he bent over me, and with warm lips brushing my ear whispered quietly,

“I am so lucky to be with you…”

“But you are so lucky to be you.”

And then he dropped a kiss on my cheek as I smiled into the darkness.