Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Basic Muffin

One of the biggest obstacles in travelling is a lack of control over the food you have access to. On planes, when there is food it comes in tiny single-serving packets, often accompanied by some of the worst coffee known to man. If you're staying with friends or relatives, your meals might be prepared by them or you might eat out. This could be fine, though if your tastes differ from those of your host, mealtimes could become quite uncomfortable. And when you find yourself in a hotel - while you will have unchallenged decisions on which restaurants to eat at - even if you stop in a grocery store, your food options will be limited by lack of appropriate cooking and storage space.
When you finally get home, often your own cupboards are bare because you (hopefully) disposed of all perishables before leaving. You have to hit the store and start all over. But at least you can make anything you'd like.
Admittedly, cooking at home can be hit or miss, too, but at least there is no one to blame but yourself.

So having just arrived home, I didn't have a lot in the kitchen. I pulled out some bowls, some ingredients and an electric mixer. Flour, leaveners, salt into one bowl and sour cream, yogurt, sugar and an egg into another. Mix bowls separately then, after tossing in some vanilla for good measure, combine the contents. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or so.

Something seems wrong here. Ah, I see now - there is a method, but no recipe! And there won't be because, though tasty, these muffins weren't anything special. Moist, semi-dense and with a crisp top (I guess I was a little heavy handed with the sugar, though they didn't seem overly sweet), I would make these again but instead I think I will try and refine the recipe to produce a great, basic muffin; it will be a recipe worth sharing.

It's good to be home.