July 1, 2020 10:43:52 AM
This week, I've cut my husband's hair -- thank goodness it's curly and doesn't show my many mistakes. I've replaced the hose on the vacuum -- after seven years of patching it with duct tape, it was bittersweet to discover I could replace the dang thing myself for $15 and about five minutes.
I've made from-scratch spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce out of fresh tomatoes -- both successes, which is good because Zack is extremely attached to his tomatoes. I've tried to make pizza in the air fryer -- it was an abject failure, and I don't want to talk about it.
But more important than any single thing I've done this week is what I haven't done: I've tried everything in my power to avoid turning on the oven (see also, failed pizza experiment). The oven heats up the house to the point that it takes several hours to cool back down.
That seems like a terrible waste of resources, so I've gotten creative in how I cook suppers. We can have nearly anything we want, but I use our stovetop, pressure cooker, griddle, and air fryer to make it happen. I've avoided turning on the oven at all costs.
Except for these muffins. When my sweet friend Rowan gave us some blueberries from a patch of land she has dubbed "the snake pit," I knew it was time to turn on the oven for the two members of my family who love blueberry muffins. (Blueberry pancakes just aren't the same, apparently.)
Thank goodness I had a recipe in my back pocket that I knew would be worth the heat.
My other secret mission was to use up the drips and dabs of yogurt and sour cream that had gotten overlooked in the fridge. The recipe calls for unflavored yogurt, but the cookbook discusses other options that would work almost as well. In fact, I think I've used unflavored yogurt only once to make these muffins because I usually don't have it on hand.
In the end, for this week's version, I used about half a cup of sour cream that was languishing in the bottom of the carton and two individual cups of vanilla yogurt that had gotten trapped in No Man's Land at the back of the refrigerator shelf. That still didn't quite make a cup and a half, so I topped it off with a splash of buttermilk.
This recipe comes from the cookbook "he Best Recipe," produced by Cook's Illustrated. I'm going to describe how I incorporated the berries, but this is actually their basic recipe for muffins. You can easily omit the berries or add something different, such as chocolate chips or another fruit.
Amelia Plair is a mom and high school teacher in Starkville. Email reaches her at [email protected]
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder (yes, TABLEspoon)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons softened butter (that's one stick plus 2 tablespoons)
1 scant cup sugar
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (or substitute flavored yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, or a mix of these)
1 1/2 cup blueberries, washed
5. Photo: Rachel Ann Wakefield gallery exhibit ENTERTAINMENT