i made blueberry muffins this morning for no reason other than i could. i still have bags of frozen blueberries in the freezer, better to use them up now, while it's still muffin season, instead of the summer, when i won't be craving any muffins. it was also a chance to re-familiarize myself with my muffin recipe.
i haven't made muffins since mid-march, about a month-and-half ago. i set out a stick of butter and 2 eggs last night, so they'd be at room temperature. for the past few muffins i've been creaming the sugar and butter by hand using just the back of a spoon. i'm never going to get it to actual "cream" consistency, and i'm still not sure if it even makes a difference. once i add the two eggs and the vanilla extract and lemon juice, the mixture has a lumpy oatmeal texture. i mixed the dry ingredients in a tall plastic tub with a lid so i can shake it to get a proper mixing. cake flour is just regular flour plus corn starch, supposedly it makes for fluffier muffins, i honestly can't tell the difference, but i have a lot of corn starch i need to use up, so i add it. i also learned not to leave out the frozen blueberries otherwise they'll thaw and the juices will stain the batter.
i bake my muffins for 50 minutes: 10 minutes at 425°F, 30 minutes at 375°F, and another 10 minutes at 375°F if the muffins aren't browned enough (which has always been the case). one of these days i'd like to make two batches instead of just half a dozen. i'd make them in separate bowls, because creating a single batter large enough to make a dozen muffins would too hard to stir. the only thing i forgot to do this time was sprinkle some sugar on top of the muffins when they bake. i didn't have time to try the muffins though: as soon as they were done, i put them on the cooling rack, and my sister came to pick me up to go to the somerville home depot for her to get some peat moss for her raised beds.
we stopped at market basket first, because my father said he needed some eggs to make tea eggs. i thought it'd be a quick in-and-out, but my sister came as well, and we ended up getting more than a dozen items.
buying soil amendments on a rainy day is not the best idea as it can be messy. we put 3 bundles of peat moss onto a flat bed cart, along with 2 bags of composted manure. afterwards my sister wanted to go check out some cabinets and countertops for the upstairs apartment kitchen. after paying for our garden supply, it took some time to get it into the car, wiping off as much as the wet dirt as possible before putting them onto a tarp.
from somerville we went to belmont, so i could drop off the bags of manure for the backyard as well as collect all the raspberry canes for the mid-cambridge garden swap on saturday. my sister found a wallet on the sidewalk, belonged to somebody will lives in jamaica plain. there was a driver license, credit card, and MBTA pass, but no cash. either somebody dropped it, or it was stolen and the thief just tossed it afterwards. i was surprised none of the other neighbors had seen it since we get a good amount of foot traffic. my sister found a doctor's note and tried calling the number but nobody answered. we ended up going to the belmont police department where i dropped off the wallet at the station.
back in cambridge, i helped my sister move all the peat moss into the backyard. i also got a chance to see the upstairs construction work. these guys are actually pretty legit. i thought they were just going to cover the walls and ceilings with sheet rocks and patch up the seams, but these guys are actually plasterers, and will go over with walls with a skim coat (not sure if that's the correct terminology). the upstairs apartment will actually look really nice once they're finished, almost too good to rent out. i went to the cafe to drop off the eggs. i also found my lost multimeter, i'd been searching for it in my house, was completely baffled that it was missing.
my sister finally gave me a ride back to my place around 3:30pm. i took the bucket of raspberry canes and filled it up with water, leaving it out on deck. i'll package them up with wet newspaper before i take them down to the plant swap.
there was a notice from the post man, that i wasn't home to sign for a package. i saw that his van was a block down my street, and when i saw that he was returning to his vehicle, i ran after him hoping to get my package today and not have to wait until tomorrow.
i knew the package was from alex from japan. he sent something during christmas that never arrived, so this time he made sure to get the best delivery service. it actually got here in just 3 days. i was curious to see what the surprise was. i thought maybe it was something electronic, since it's from japan after all, but turns out it's a mickey mouse hand soap dispenser that creates mickey mouse shaped foam with each press of the pump. i didn't even know such a thing existed. i tried it, and i think i had my hand too far away, because i just created a mound of foam, more like an emoji poop than mickey mouse. the scent is really nice though, a rosy fragrance - the smell of disney tokyo!
when evening came around, i baked some potato wedges as i had some potatoes i needed to get rid of. i also had a sweet potato that i mixed with the regular potatoes. i discovered sweet potatoes don't make good baked wedges because their sugar content makes them vulnerable to getting scorched.
they finally finished baking by 9pm, i ended up eating all of them throughout the rest of the night as my dinner (3 medium potatoes, 1 medium sweet potato).