|Mom napping with the dog on |
a lazy Saturday afternoon.
One night last week I came home from work to find that she had emptied most of the cabinets and pantry of baking supplies trying to find what she needed to make applesauce muffins (lesson learned....never leave out a recipe where she can find it or she will try to make it on her own). In a large mixing bowl she had put the flour, salt and a packet of Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate mix (why the cocoa mix, I'm not sure, and neither was she) and since she couldn't find the other ingredients she just went "shopping" in the kitchen.
|Mom still knows how to use a knife|
so here she is cutting up a fresh
pineapple for a cake we'll bake
this week sometime.
I brought home fresh blueberries the other day to make muffins (one of her favorite things to do in days past) and when I told her what they were and what for, she said she "didn't think she'd ever had those but it sounded good". Bless her heart. I made them, she ate them. It's all good.
When you live with someone with dementia or Alzheimer's, or two someones in my case, I think it tends to spur on your own memories when you come to the realization that things have slipped from their minds. My own memories become more cherished when I stop to consider that I may be the one forgetting in the future.
These blueberries are one of those examples.
|Uncle Don taking us for a ride with|
his tractor. We might have been
over to pick berries this day and
then enjoyed a little extra fun time!
Mom's brother Don had a lovely patch of blueberry bushes on his property and he was very proud of them. When the berries began to come onto the bushes, Uncle Don carefully covered the entire bushes with nets to keep the birds from eating them. Every summer we'd await the time that the berries were ready to be picked and he would allow Mom and I to go get our fill. We'd find our way under the nets with a couple of buckets and it was our custom to pick several quarts of berries to take home and prepare for the freezer.
The three of us don't really like anything blueberry except muffins, so that was our blueberry stash for muffin baking for the entire coming year. In point of fact, I have one package of Don's berries in the back of my freezer. I cannot bring myself to use the last of those that were so lovingly cared for by him and picked by Mom and me.
Uncle Don has been gone now for over four years and the blueberry bushes are no longer available to us, but the memories live on - at least for me. Blueberry muffins are still one of my favorites and here is the recipe I use most often.
Like so many recipes we use, blueberry muffins come in varying degrees of decadence. From simply flavored plain muffins to crumb topped to lemony cornmeal muffins, recipes abound for these morning quick breads.
Today I used a recipe supposedly from the famous Jordan Marsh department stores. I like this recipe but it needed just a bit of crunch so I added the sprinkling of turbinado suger. This comes from King Arthur Flour's website (one of the best baking sources available). The original recipe calls for the addition of nuts, but I leave these out since Dad doesn't like them. These are terrific cake-like muffins for breakfast or an anytime treat.
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
Turbinado sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, berries and nuts. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter or margarine with sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat well. Blend dry ingredients into wet alternately with milk.
Because these muffins will rise up and over the edge of your muffin tin, you’ll want to grease the top of the pan as well as the cups. Fill the cups almost full and sprinkle with the sugar.
Tip from the bakers at King Arthur Flour - before baking, tuck all the blueberries under some of the batter. This prevents the berries from bursting and leaking all over the muffin and prevents the exposed berry from drying out.
Bake muffins 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove muffins from oven. As soon as you can handle them, remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. If muffins are left in the pans to cool, they will steam and become tough.