Before I finally caved in and took a nap yesterday, I was exhausted. My eyes were droopy, my mouth was dry, and I knew that I needed to recharge somehow before going back for the evening session of (ushering for) Founder's Week.
First - tea. Then, almost as if I were going through the motions of being at home in Czech, I fixed myself some lunch - black beans, fresh cilantro, red onion, garlic, and cumin, topped with a fried egg. Without even really thinking twice, it just seemed right to bake.
I pulled out some of Pamela's Baking mix (always reliable), and followed the recipe on the back of the bag for muffins, adapting it slightly to what I was craving. Bananas, blueberries, cinnamon. All mixed together, and then I patiently waited by the oven, checking on them to make sure they didn't burn (our oven tends to burn things).
As soon as I tasted the first bite of one of those warm muffins, I knew it was right. The Truman Show, and a nap later, and I was ready for the next half of the week.
I didn't realize until later that day that what I had just done was typical. Cook, bake, watch a movie, sleep, get a little alone time. This was my typical "rest routine" at home. Often this routine includes a friend, or family too.
I may be in a different country, and not be even living in a house. I might have changed since coming to college. But at my core, I'm still the same Claire as I was in Czech. The same things make me happy, and the same things are relaxing. The same things make me tired, and I still have to balance groups of people vs. alone time.
Yesterday was a good reminder that the patterns I built at home can still be used here. Life changes, and yet some things stay the same.
Muffins still make my day brighter.
Recipe (adapted from Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix):
When I gave one of these to Caleb, he was working at Joe's, so didn't get to eat it until later that day. In the evening, I got a text that said "That muffin was sooooooooo goooooooood!!!!!!", and then one right after that, "Like REALLY good!!!". I guess it was a winner!
1 1/4 cups Pamela's Pancake Mix
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1/8 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 banana, mashed
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix everything together, but the blueberries. Spoon batter into greased muffin tins, about 2/3 full. Press blueberries into the batter, so that there are enough in every muffin to satisfy your taste. (If you mix the blueberries into your batter beforehand, you risk the batter turning blue, which when baked, makes your muffins a funny gray-green color. That's why I suggest putting the blueberries in afterward spooning into tin). Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown on top.
P.S. Pamela's is the best for easy gluten-free baking! I currently have about half a bag left, and it has been the best thing to have for college. It's worth having on hand, for muffins, pancakes, cookies, and anything else. I savor anything home-baked, and this mix makes my day!