Words to the Wise: Sharing Life, Lessons, and Observations

Words to the Wise is a collection of stories, observations and insight drawn from my own experience both in the past and in the present, together with my perspective on what I may have learned in the process. Occasional poetry and astrological insights will be included when appropriate. I welcome comments, suggestions and thoughts of all kinds and am happy to respond.

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Muffins for Fall


          I have a vivid childhood memory from when I was a child of 6 or 7. In the late summer over several years or so, I was taken along with my mother and a friend of hers to pick wild  blueberries. I well remember the short stubby, scratchy plants that grew in the bright sunshine on the side of a hill. My little fingers did not manage to fill the tin pail I was supposed to collect the berries in, probably because quite a few went into my mouth instead. I remember how hot and how bored I was. I did enjoy the berries, though, and my mother may have made muffins with them though she was not one for baking.           

          I think houses eventually grew there rather than blueberries, because I don't remember picking them when I was older. These rarely seen wild blueberries recently appeared in our supermarket. Most of the year they are only available frozen, and while these are adequate for use and tasty, fresh always tastes better. The muffins in my recipe are easily made with either. I do not recommend making them with the regular large blueberries as these take up too much room in the muffins to begin with, and as they cook, are apt to collapse and leave spaces in your product.

          Muffins are very easy to make and I have made them for many years. Do not expect your homemade product to resemble the large, cakelike muffins from a bakery. To my taste these are overly sweet and as well often contain preservatives and other ingredients that are not necessarily good for you. The secret to successful muffins lies in how they are put together. When made with melted butter they must be stirred gently together and not beaten. When made with oil, there is usually no problem with the mixing.

          Preheat oven to 425. Use the silicone baking cups if you can find them. Unlike the paper one they do not stick to the muffins. Greased muffin cups work too of course. Assemble the following dry ingredients in a medium bowl: 1 ½   cups flour—I use gluten free, 1/2 cup sugar,1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt, 1/2 cup almond flour. Stir together and add 1 cup smll wild blueberries—fresh or frozen. Measure ¾ cup milk into a 2 cup measuring cup. Add 2 eggs, ¼ cup light olive oil OR ¼ cup melted butter. Mix well and pour over dry ingredients.

          If using butter, mix gently. If using oil, mix well. Fill muffin cups ¾ full. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until they are nicely browned and spring back when poked lightly. Tip muffins up in the tin to rest until slightly cool, then serve with or without butter or other condiments. The almond flour helps keep them fresh  for quite a while and adds a fine tenderness as well. Ovens may vary, as will cooking times. These are very tasty. You can also make a corn muffin variation by omitting the blueberries and using ¼ cup almond flour, 3/4 cup regular flour and 1 cup medium grind corn meal. Add ½  or more cups fresh or cooked corn cut from the cob.

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Practical mystic and poet Tasha Halpert writes a column called Heartwings Love Notes for a Joyous Life, as well as a monthly astrology column for the internet. She writes a weekly perspective column for the Grafton News called Good Earthkeeping.  Her poems and essays have appeared in Quest Magazine, For the Love of Life, Heart and Wings, The Unicorn, and other publications. She is staff poet and storyteller for the Unicorn, and a regular part of Granny Moon’s Morning Feast. Her book Heartwings: Love Notes for a Joyous Life is available; She has another in preparation: Up to my Neck in Lemons, as well as a poetry chapbook: Poems and Prayers. With her writings she hopes to be of help and comfort and perhaps even entertaining.  With her husband Stephen she lives in Grafton and is the mother of 5, grandmother of 7, and great grandmother of 2.  


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