Sunday, March 14, 2010
Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins for Tea Time
I grew up in a pretty small family. My Dad and myself are both only children and my Mom had only one sibling, an older sister, my Aunt Jenni. Always a beauty, Aunt Jenni was my idol. I loved her auburn hair, her bright blue eyes, and the sprinkling of freckles that ran across her nose. It was such a treat to visit her. Filled with anticipation, I could hardly wait for her to paint my nails, do my hair and bring out the high heels. I would happily raid my Aunt's closet while she and my parents chatted away. When it was time to leave, she always gave me something of hers, usually a purse, which always smelled of her perfume. I hid those gifts in my closet, saving them for my eyes only, smelling them when I missed her, treasuring them while waiting for the next visit.
In this Photo: My Aunt Jenni in her twenties
Even as a teenager I adored her. In fact, I paid even closer attention, noticing things I hadn't before. It seemed that when my Aunt would become angry or frustrated, she would utter the same silly phrase over and over. The words "Oh Sugar" came out of her mouth like some kind of candy-coated swear word. Even in anger and frustration this woman was polite and ladylike. When other kids my age were using real swear words, I was uttering "Oh sugar" under my breath and laughing.
In this Photo: My Aunt and I looking through photo albums
My Aunt passed away unexpectedly in her late-forties, when I was about 20 years old. Still in shock of her passing, my Mom and I were tasked with going through her belongings. For all of my life, my Aunt's belongings had been such a thing of joy to me and now they were overwhelmingly sad. The only laugh of the day occurred when we opened up her kitchen belongings and found the coffee mug in the above picture with the words "Housework is a Bitch". I'm sure the look on my face was priceless. I couldn't believe that this mug belonged to my sweet and ladylike Aunt. I just couldn't picture this lady, who never swore, using a mug like this. My Mom, trying to make light of the entire day, reminded me of my bad housekeeping and encouraged me to keep the mug. For one reason or another, this mug was one of the few things I kept that day and I'm so glad that I did. To me, it resembles something I may have had in common with my Aunt Jenni as an adult. It reminds me of the gleam in her eye and makes me believe that there was much more to this woman I only knew as a child. I so wish that I had been given the chance to know my Aunt in my adult years. It appears we would've had some things in common.
In this photo: My Mom, Me and my Aunt on the day I took my first steps
Whenever I drink tea, I use this mug and think of my Aunt Jenni. I've thought of buying some new mugs, but I like this old one far too much. I debated using this mug for this week's Tea Time celebration over at I Heart Cooking Clubs. In the end, I went ahead with it. Sorry if the language offends anyone! To go along with the tea, I baked up Nigella's Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins, recipe can be found online HERE.
Notes/Results: Nigella says to use a good quality cocoa powder, so I broke out the Valrhona cocoa powder for the first time. I thought there would be a noticeable difference in using Valrhona cocoa powder, but there really wasn't. Good old Hershey cocoa powder is just as good, at least in a muffin anyway. I used buttermilk in place of regular milk because I think buttermilk makes a better muffin. I wanted to add some cinnamon or cayenne for added spice, but knew my daughter wouldn't eat them if I did. The muffins were nice, moist, and chocolatey and my daughter and I each ate two in place of a normal and healthy lunch. I'm doing my best to teach her that chocolate is a proper food group!
Head on over to I Heart Cooking Clubs to check out all the other Tea Time Celebrations!
P.S. I believe whole-heartedly in the quote on this mug!