Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Its raining, its pouring, the old man is snoring!!!

Well, no old men here, but it is raining again. Woke up this morning to a freezing house and am currently bundled in sweats and socks until the heater warms this old house, and these bones, up. I love the rain when I don't have to drive in it, and I love to bundle up when its cold out. I love the cold. Its invigorating and there is nothing like snuggling under a blanket on a cold rainy day and reading a good book. I bake more when its cold out, which my family loves. We drink loads of cocoa and cider.  I spend all summer longing for that first cold front to hit, the first leaves to turn and fall, the harvesting of the vegetables, our breath fogging the air with the stinging morning cold, the fall and winter holidays....

However, I especially love spring rain; when all the flowers and trees are blooming, its quite a sight to watch the water drip off the opening buds. There is a different feel to spring rain, a wakening of the earth. The smells are different, the air is different, the earth is different. I can open the windows with a spring rain, and smell the newness in the air. There is a new optimism with spring rain.

Im sure youre all wondering why I am going on and on about the spring rain. Well, I live in Southern California, where until this past winter rain isnt really something that happens very often. We had a lot of hard rain this past winter, and it was very cold and dreary. I can look out the windows of our home and see the effect all the rain we had on the mountains, they are still covered in snow, almost all the way down. And they are going to get more with this new, shorter wave of rain. And thats good for us. I welcome every winter with the hopes of rain like we had,  but Im glad winter is over, so we have a little more sunlight and a little more warmth, so that I can throw open our windows and watch nature do its thing.

When youre a homemaker, being able to let in fresh air is like buying new shoes. Almost anyway!

I know that I havent posted a whole lot, so Im going to make it up by posting a quick and easy recipe for banana nut muffins. And I promise to share some crafting at some point in the near future; the humane society's blankets go in tomorrow, so Im all done with that project. And Im going to be spring cleaning the bathrooms so Ill make a short post on the ins and outs of spring cleaning a bathroom very soon.

The recipe: Quick and easy banana nut muffins (is also fantastic as a bread!)

Preheat your oven to 350*
Grease or paper a cupcake tin, or a loaf pan with cooking spray.

You will need:
4 very ripe (this allows you to use less sugar) bananas, mashed
1/3 c. melted butter
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
a pinch of salt
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2- 1 c. coarsely chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans are great in banana bread/muffins), optional

In a large bowl, combine bananas and melted butter, mix together with a wooden spoon. Add in the sugar, vanilla, and egg, mix together. Sprinkle salt, baking soda and  half the nuts over top of mix, mix in. Add in flour and mix, being careful not to over mix. You dont want tough dough. Fill your pan, top with remaining nuts and bake 20-22 minutes, until wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Serve warm with a pat of butter and a cold glass of milk.

And enjoy!!

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