I made the decision to bake muffins the night of New Years Eve. This was about 45 minutes before we entered 2017. The batter was not made entirely from scratch and I am not ashamed of it. A Betty Crocker ‘just add milk or water’ muffin mix was used. Normally, I’d be hard on myself for baking with ready-made ingredients but who the hell cares?! What I did was to add a hint of vanilla and grated nutmeg and secret additions to blend a touch of The Night Baker in the mix.
As I mixed the batter, I couldn’t help but reflect on the year that was and the year that is to come. In 2016, I found myself in situations where the drawing board was my best friend. Most days felt like the recipes planned were bound to fail no matter how precise and scientific they were made. I was daunted. I won’t lie. The defeated feeling engulfed me as I allowed the actions and thoughts of the insignificant to interfere with the crafting of recipes and execution of baking. However, some folks with wonderful energies showed me that reverting to a drawing board is never a bad thing; especially if you have a foundation. Shaky or not, a foundation is a great place to start. They demonstrated that the drawing board, brilliance, work ethic and faith can move mountains and change lives. That is exactly what happened!! They also taught me to not sweat the small stuff.
Not sweating the small stuff is why I decided to bake those muffins. The muffin mix had a basic foundation and that saved me a great deal of energy. However, the batter needed some oomph. As such, I added my personal touch and I had to put some work in; easy or not, work is the only way you’ll reap rewards.
The key to ensuring that the end product is top notch has very little to do with where you start or what you use. How you use what you have to attain the end product is the most important factor. It took me all of 2016 to practice and learn the art of not sweating the small stuff and so I applied that to baking those muffins.
Muffins turned out great!!
* Betty Crocker Blueberry muffin mix
* 1/2 cup of milk (I used 1% low fat milk)
* a bit of grated nutmeg
* a bit of vanilla essence
* secret ingredients
- Add milk
- Empty the contents from the Betty Crocker sachet
- Stir till batter is formed
- Add vanilla essence and grated nutmeg
- Add secret ingredients
- Preheat oven
- Lay muffin cups in greased muffin tin
- Pour batter in cups
- Place in oven
- Bake at 400°F between 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
The lesson : Life does NOT always require you reinvent the wheel. All you have to do, sometimes, is to add a few drops of your personality. Life does NOT have to be complicated. Taking an ‘easy’ option does not make you lazy, it affords you the opportunity to showcase your talents by utilizing more creativity. Train yourself to take things slow and steady.
Hard work isn’t necessarily better than SMART work. Know what your expected outcomes are and work towards them.
Cheers to the wonderful people who added to my 2016. I’ve learned a great deal from you. I hope I was just as good a teacher as I was your student.
With love and flour dust on my nose,
The Night Baker