"All I know is, one minute she was in the car, and the next she was calling us from a Jiffy Lube two zipcodes over."
So this weekend I watched "Fame", slept, relaxed, made these muffins and stayed out until 4 am last night, with friends and cheap pink champagne.
There is no excuse for what happened between 9 pm and 4 am, just that it involved chauffeurs, 'Stumptown Hot Spots', making a birthday cake out of Plaid Pantry snack cakes, Jack in the Box cheeseburgers, smelling like a Tobacco plant and having a staggering moment of sobriety, where I faked a sip of a drink a guy who'd introduced himself three times in thirty minutes bought me. 'Lifetime' was a harsh and efficient tutor. I know that sounds all "HORSE TRANQS ARE IN THE TAP WATER AT CO-ED SCHOOLS." But when a man you don't know just shows up and hands you a glass of suspect liquor, you're not sure what to do. Do you hand it back? Do you set it down and cold-eye him? Or do you do what I did, which is manage a weak "Thanks!" and then thumbs-up it, before setting it down and leaning into one of your guy friends. Guess.
Also. Leaving the worst kind of group voice-mails for people who couldn't be there, ever, and then the next morning being told "Yeah, I got your message. Your voice was so loud," and then thinking about how you were sitting four people away from the person holding the phone.
I am an old woman, because I have not committed that hard in a long time, and even after my before-bed ritual (one liter of water, two aspirin and a clean, washed face, then more water and moisturizer first thing after you wake up. Your welcome. Love Grandma. Why don't you ever wear that sweater I sent you?) I woke up not feeling the wear, but actually wearing it. My face looked like Naugahyde. Like the seats in that car your dad parked by the side of the garage, and left, for ten years, and then 'gave' it to you when you turned seventeen, saying that if you and your friends got the rats out, you could drive it. Hard livin'.
Anyway. Here is something so much prettier than my face, this morning. Raspberry muffins, which are on their third day and still delicious, moist and viable. Supple, even. They and their loud voices didn't make a fool out of themselves. Buttery, with a sweet, slightly-cinnamon tinged crumb topping, the muffins are just sweet enough and the pockets of sour, juicy blackberries make things so nice. While they're fine at room temperature, I suggest warming yours just enough to soften everything, really turning the double-dose of vanilla up. Then they're even better.
Blackberry Crumb Muffins
Adapted from Ina Garten
1 1/2 sticks softened butter (equal to 12 tablespoons)
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 1/2 teaspoons (really) pure vanilla extract
1 cup plain Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups AP flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 heaping cups of frozen or fresh blackberries, washed and stemmed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin tins with paper cups, and brush the top, flat part of the pans with oil if you like, or cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until creamy, fluffy and pale yellow using an electric or stand mixer. Add the vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time, beating until blended and silky. Add the Greek yogurt and milk, mixing until fluid. Add the flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. Mix just until combined, using a spatula to finish the mixing, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the blackberries, and fold in gently with the spatula.
Using an ice cream scoop, or 1/4 cup measure, place large scoops of batter in each liner. Scatter the tops with the crumb mixture, and bake for 25-35 minutes (checking after 25), or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the tops are a smooth golden brown. Cool in the pan for one minute, then remove and serve warm, or cool completely on a wire rack.
1/2 stick slightly softened butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup AP flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Using a fork, mash together all ingredients until soft, dry crumbles form. Vary the sizes (some large clumps, some finer crumbs), and use your fingers if you need to.
*And welcome to anyone visiting from Oh Joy! (Thank you Joy, for the link!) I hope you are not disappointed -- she is much classier than I am.