Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Give and Take

So, this past weekend was a doozy!  Saturday morning, the Dude and I were up bright and early to take part in a community clean-up project organized by Wild Goose Creative, and we took part along with some other members of our beloved Hudson Street Hooligans, the best Crew supporter's group out there.  I swept, picked up trash, sprayed for weeds, and painted and painted and painted.  I ended up helping some kids who were there volunteering with their parents-go figure, right?  It was great fun, I was absolutely filthy by the time I got home.  But it's for a good cause-cleaning up an abandoned lot, and making it pretty with some gorgeous artwork!  Check it out at the corner of Summit and Hudson in Columbus.  First pic has the Dude up on some scaffolding, second pic is the handiwork of Tim Lai, and was posted on the Facebook page for the HSH.

Saturday night was a rarity in my world-girl's night out!  We met for dinner and 'ritas at a local Mexican restaurant, then headed off to the Crew game.  I'm not sure everyone had the same level of enjoyment for the game that I did, but we all had a good time being together.

However, all the time outside on Saturday, combined with my forgetting to take my allergy medicine that day, left me feeling like someone stuffed rocks up my nose, then hit me in the face with a cricket bat.  However, because I am a sucker nice aunt, I kept my word to one of my nieces and spent the morning making blueberry muffins with her.  It wasn't nearly as time consuming as I had anticipated it to be, and a good time was had by all.  Here's the goods:

For muffins:
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
2 t. baking powder
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 c. milk
1 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen work; if frozen, thaw first)

For crumb topping:
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. wheat flour
1/4 c. butter, softened and cubed
1 1/2 t. cinnamon

Heat oven to 400 degrees, either grease or line muffin cups.
Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder for muffins.  In separate bowl, beat egg gently, then add oil and milk to egg.  Mix slightly, then add to dry goods.  Mix together, adding a bit more milk if needed to achieve a good consistency.  Fold in blueberries.  At this point, you can either divide the batter between 12 muffin cups for smaller muffins, or fill 8 cups to the very top to get larger muffins.  For the topping, mix together all ingredients with a fork until a crumbly texture has been achieved.  Sprinkle it over the muffin tops before baking.  Bake for about 20 minutes-watch them towards the end, our batch got close to burning.  These were generally a hit with everyone, except for my junior chef, who learned a valuable lesson in mixing thoroughly.  She got a mouthful of salty muffin.  :-)

I did get some reward for all of my giving-a sympathetic sister who folded my laundry for me (woot!), and a family friend who brought us all some lunch.  I normally feel bad about taking things like that from others, but not this time!  

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