This is a first. Here it comes, “Summer, you were too hot for me.” There I said it. Out. Loud. Those are words of regret as I walk from two inches to six feet of snow by next winter. Being a child of the summer, I feel guilty. Those words are of the highest betrayal to my greatest love of the seasons. My love is now with the fair weather seasons of fall and spring. Summer smothered me with too much love this year.
I went to bed breathing in humid air. My skin was forever damp from the excessive sweating in our apartment sans air conditioning. The fan moved with me from room to room. My sunny disposition melted into an irritable attitude. Don’t. Touch. Me. Recipes requiring no oven were mandatory. Other food blogs enjoyed making pies, tarts and warm savory dishes. My food blog was mostly green salads, seared meats and frozen desserts. Luckily, there were a few cooler days to make birthday cakes, frittatas and enchiladas.
As August comes to a close, summer is dancing with fall. As this post is being written, Hurricane Earl isn’t being destructive, for it’s constructive. It brought cooler air. Such temperatures are a fresh breath of relief. I’m cooler, now.
With these cooler temperatures, my palms are inching to bake. There’s a request for lasagna, Apple Crumb pie, and warm green tea. I’m sifting from chill rosé and whites to warm, spicy red wines. There are cakes to bake, muffins to make, and biscuits to be rolled out.
In one of falls brief moments of cool air refinery toward the end of August, a quick batch of carrot muffins were made. Moderately sweeten with just brown sugar, flavored with fresh ginger and subtly seasoned with cool weather spices and everything nice, it was the perfect treat for satisfying my baking inch.
Truthfully, all the seasons are beautiful. It’s just that this summer was too much for me. I swear I rarely complain about hot temperatures, but this year… my tiredness of the humid air and warm temperatures has caused me to yell, “Enough!” Winter whiny, here I come.
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp + 1 tsp. milk
1 to 2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups carrots; grated
2 tbsp. fresh ginger; grated
The zest of one orange
1 cup flour
1/4 cup wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
A dash of salt
1/2 cup pecans; chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 12 muffin tins. Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
2. Using a mixer, cream butter and brown sugar (about 5 minutes).
3. Add the egg, milk, vanilla, and maple syrup. Mix just until all ingredients are just incorporated.
4. Stir in the carrots, ginger and orange zest.
5. Add the flour mixture. Do not overbeat the batter.
6. Stir in the nuts until just incorporated.
7. Spoon batter into the muffin tins. The batter should be almost to the top.
8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before moving muffins to a rack.