This Sweltering Season

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The heat wave is still upon us, and it’s turning the once blissful summer season into a vengeful whore,much like her bitch of a sister, winter. Were living all the extremes around here. Last night a massive light show and house rattling thunder gave us a breath of air and a quick but serious downpour. It was lovely. That is, until the power went out and suddenly the cool brreze of the ceiling fan died down and became the stagnant sauna air that swamps our home. My kingdom for an air conditioner!


None the less, I am doing my best to be out and about and enjoying the brief though sweltering season. We’ve dipped our toes in the river, collected rocks and made huge splashes. We’ve picnicked and camped. We’ve gone swimming, enjoying a cool reprieve. We’ve run through the….hose (Peps loves the sprayer on the hose but is kinda over the sprinkler). We’ve watched too much tv, somehow, flat on the floor, tongues hanging out of our mouths like overheated dogs.

We’ve foraged and found fresh local produce, always at its most delicious peak right now. Huge, fresh strawberries from the local gardens, bursting with juice and an utter mess to consume, half of them eaten by the time we arrive home. Crisp mixed lettuce and spinach from our own greenhouse, cherry tomatoes (a coveted item, each time we pass, Pep reaches her little hands up for more) and soon enough, cabbage, carrots and green beans. Were lucky enough to have loads of saskatoon berries on our property, and our attempts to include Pepper in picking leads to a violet hued mouth and hands and possibly a lifelong love of summer. Jams and pies will abound, if ever the house cools enough. Soon we’ll be flooded with apples and crabapples, and liquer and syrups will be concocted, and sour cherries will come pouring in, later to be turned into pies and cherry lemonade.

This week at the local gardens, I couldn’t resist a lovely crisp bundle of rhubarb. Crunchy and tart, with a glorious fuschia color, I’m drawn to the flavours of rhubarb. I recall dipping raw stalks in sugar and chewing it until my jaw was sore, spitting out stringy pulp. The pounds would be turned into sweet and sour rhubarb pie, perfect topped with cold vanilla ice cream.

Well, as my husband points out, I’m a maniac, and I saw fit to turn the oven on in, what at the time, seemed like the cool morning hours. I gave Pep a bowl and a spoon, a butter knife and a stalk of rhubarb, sidled up her high chair and plunked her in to ‘help’. Together we built Cinnamon Rhubarb Muffins.

Spiced and moist, thanks to a hearty dose of cinnamon and a generous portion of greek yogurt, these muffins are hearty and satisfying, perfect for breakfast or on the side of a cup of tea. Maybe on the side of an iced coffee. The sharp bite of rhubarb is refreshing, and still the sweetness shines through.

Cinnamon Rhubarb Muffins

1 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped (toss with a sprinkling of granulated sugar and leave to sit while preparing batter)

2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

cinnamon (add a lot or a little, to taste. I never measure cinnamon and no one ever complains)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup melted margarine

1 cup plain greek yogurt

2 eggs

a splash of vanilla (see my rules on cinnamon)

Preheat your oven to 400F ( fellow maniac)

chop rhubarb and toss lightly with sugar, allow to sit while prepping other ingredients

in large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Set aside.

in medium bowl, whisk together wet in gredients. Gently mix in rhubarb.

add wet to dry and gingerly combine just until flour is mixed in. Don’t go too crazy mixing, it toughens up the texture.

line or grease a muffin tin.

Spoon generous portions into each section. I piled my batter so it was mounded slightly over the top of the tin, you can make yours a little smaller if you like.

if you’re feeling crazy, mix together a few teaspoons of brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle atop the cupcakes.

bake about 20 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.My oven always needs a few extra minutes.

Let cool a few minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack.

enjoy warm! ( and store in refrigerator)

so it seemed, ‘what I’m feeding my kid today’ wasn’t particularly healthy, but I did get her involved! Pep loves to stir along with me and attempt at chopping ( with a butter knife). In my defense, for dinner we had cumin/ lime tilapia with garlic zucchini and coconut rice. Not too shabby.


here’s to maniacs heating up the kitchen in the name of deliciousness!

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