Saturday, June 4, 2011

Blueberry Muffins

The other day I was at a garage sale and came across two books on the life of Anne Frank.  I have seen the films on her life, read articles and even stood in a line for 3 hours to visit the attic where she spend the last years of her life in hiding before being caught and sent to the concentration camps.  But now I have two books – one is her diary and the other is the tale of 7 women who knew her and met or interacted with her in the last 7 months of her life at the concentration camps.

I started reading the latter book – the stories of the 7 women and how they came to be in touch with Anne Frank.  I did not get too far in the book and kept playing the same thing in my mind – what drives someone to annihilate his own species?  And then you think that is in the past – a past humanity should be ashamed of.  But then you see people like Mladic in our very present standing trial for the same type of crimes committed during the World War II but in a more recent past.  And then you think, it is the past – a more recent past, but nonetheless still the past. 

Then you see what is happening in the Congo, in Libya, in Yemen and in Yemen and so many other countries – and now you say, this is not the past…this is now…this is today.  I live in this “today” which is laying down the foundation for a “tomorrow” where my children would be living.  This is a legacy I am leaving for my children which is not right – it needs to change.  Change which does not mean destroying the bad but building good of what exists.  I visualize it as a renovation of an old building full of features and history – very difficult but what an end result when you have put all the good into it. 
Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 12 muffins


3 tablespoons melted butter, plus some for greasing the muffin tin
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated white sugar
½ teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
½ teaspoon lemon zest

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.  Grease a standard 12-compartment muffin tin.   
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl and keep aside.   
  3. Beat together the egg, milk and butter.   
  4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it except the blue berries.  Using a large spoon or rubber spatula, combine the ingredients swiftly, stirring and folding rather than beating.  Stop as soon as all the dry ingredients are moistened.  The batter should be lumpy, not smooth, and thick but quite moist.  
  5. Add the blueberries and mix till they are coated with the dough.   
  6. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling them about two-thirds full.  Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until the muffins are nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the centre of one of them comes out clean.  
  7. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before taking them out of the tin.  Serve warm.

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