I sit before you as the same tired girl who was here last week, but I'll refrain from sharing the details of my all-night escapades because 1) "escapades" is a far too exciting word to use -- they're quite boring -- and 2) many of you lead equally crazy lives.
How does life get so crazy? Personally, I have to admit a lot has to do with this laptop resting on my legs. I can't live with it, and I can't live without it. Email and Skype keep me connected with friends too far away to hug, Picasa keeps my photographs stored and organized, and good ol' Microsoft Word keeps words flowing (or stumbling) out of my brain and into typed words that eventually make their way onto crisp white paper in the hands of the professors who, as my graduation date draws closer, seem to hold my future in their all-powerful hands. And, yet, this computer works against me by offering a million less important distractions from the things that I must accomplish before sinking into bed each night.
Tonight I'll be researching the works of illustrators such as Lane Smith, and committing the mood and sway of Glen & Mar's album to memory through iTunes, all from the comfort of a cleared spot at the end of my bed, which as gone unmade for a shameful eight days (not to mention that it is now sheet-less, because I washed them two days ago and haven't put them back on).
Why am I admitting all this to you dear people (who I'm sure have a squeaky clean image of me and are surely quite surprised to learn I'm not perfect)? Well, I tend to be quite honest when I'm tired.
And, along the lines of being honest, I have to counter that I can live without this laptop. People do, and I can learn to, again, if need be. I'm very grateful to the generous friend who gave it to me, but I don't ever want to get so attached to something as fleeting as a computer (which can be killed in a few seconds with water dumped across its screen and keys -- I would know), or convenient as a cell phone, or even as luxurious as $8 New Zealand honey (totally worth it, that once -- I hadn't tasted it since my childhood on our regular visits to the honey shop between Waiwera and Auckland).
But, as long as I have access to a kitchen and the internet, I will likely continue to take pictures and blog about my gastronomic experiences, so thank you so much for joining me tonight.
I have been retracing my steps all evening long, ever since I started scooping this muffin batter into its designated tin and wondering why it was so thick. I can't figure out what I did wrong. Dorie Greenspan presents a lovely sounding pumpkin muffin recipe in Baking: From My Home to Yours, and I have been looking forward to trying it for a couple weeks. But what I pulled out of the oven in no way outshines other pumpkin quick breads or muffins I have made. The most appealing way to describe its appearance was "rustic." The batter was too thick to fill out the muffin liner while baking and remained piled on top.
The only things I changed were that I made a one and a half recipe, switched out 1/3 of the all-purpose flour for whole-wheat, and used a very runny and sour yogurt instead of buttermilk. I do no see how these could have dramatically affected the consistency.
On the bright side, they're pumpkin flavored, so they're hard to hate (who are you crazy people saying you don't like pumpkin?) and loaded with cranberries (another minor alteration) and pecans and coated with crunchy sunflower seeds, but I could easily add these things to one of my preferred pumpkin muffin recipes.
These are my thoughts on Tuesdays With Dorie's recipe this week, but I'm looking forward to finding out how others' baking sessions went (as soon as I find the time). I could have just encountered something weird and only relevant to my kitchen; I'm willing to give Dorie the benefit of the doubt.
The recipe can be found here: