A Banner Week for History and Food

Everywhere you look there seems to be a reason to celebrate. Darwin’s birthday dominated my visit to the California Academy of Sciences and NPR is definitely thinkin’ Lincoln. Around the world Robert Mugabe signed onto a powersharing deal and the California Legislature just came out of a four month deadlock on the budget. CAN IT GET ANY BETTER?!

Oh yes, my friends, it can. Its raining.

These few days of drops we’ve had aren’t going to get us back to even 70% of historic levels but they are a start. The days of mid-70’s and backyard garden maintenance are at a halt for probably the week to come as we work our way back towards water normalcy.

Its good news for farmers and good news for our yet unplanted vegetable garden.

And while no longer something I’ll be eating, Salisbury Steak day is getting a bailout as the House and Senate versions of the stimulus package each have provisions to give school food programs the opportunity to do more than just outsource their job to vending machines.

All this good news made returning from a wonderful trip to Point Reyes National Seashore more bearable.

I’d be crazy to say that I wanted to leave a place that looked like this.

But back I am, clean shaven and with a bigger than ever pipe-dream of opening a bed and breakfast somewhere around Olema. Can a recent college graduate do that? It would be like the opposite of the normal work retirement cycle, sort of the Benjamin Button of shirking responsibility and “real jobs.”

If and when my B&B/microbrewery/organic teaching farm opens up you can bet your sweet ass this recipe will be on the menu.

Marion Cunningham’s Lemon Yogurt Muffins

Preheat oven to 375
2 cups all purpose flour
1.25 cups plain yogurt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp lemon zest
.5 tbsp pomelo zest*
2 tbsp honey
.25 cup melted butter
.25 cup sugar
2 eggs

My shortcomings as a baker have been documented on this site previously so I am always cautious when trying out a recipe that requires preheating. That said one book has really made me more comfortable in the land of hot carbs, Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book.

It should come as no surprise that this book reads like morning porn. She covers all the bases and is not ingredient, but process oriented, which I like. Best of all are her baking recipes which don’t complicate the process. Wet bowl, dry bowl, put it together and bake- I love it.

This recipe is awesome, and the only reason I changed it at all (the pomelo zest) because we had a gigantic, Sputnik sized grapefruit running around our kitchen. As a means of comparison:

All the wet ingredients- that is the eggs, yogurt, honey, butter and zest get mixed up in one bowl while the flour, sugar and leaveners go in another. Mix those together, scoop into some buttered muffin tins and bake until a toothpick/fork/knife comes out clean, about 15 minutes.

When you take them out, split them in half and rebutter with a little more honey. Bingo bango.

Out of respect to Paul, Sebastian, Hope, our astrologer friend who used the moon signs of the Bush administration to get to the bottom of 9/11, and everyone else at the Point Reyes Hostel who made our stay what it was I have to say there are a number of ways to hippie this one up. The first is whole wheat flour and wheat germ. You can probably get replace 4 tablespoons of flour with wheat germ before it starts tasting weird. This recipe would also be good with some oatage.

Go and bake, but if you have time to kill certainly hit up the new hotness, brobook, a blog that hits harder than Cynthia McKinney at a security checkpoint.



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