Mom, the Muffins

Hey. Hey, look. We failed.

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Those would be The Muffins That Did Not Dome. Those would be the muffins that did not do what they were supposed to do. Those would be the muffins that smelled like an A+++, welcome home, before they looked like a HEY MOM? (Hey Mom, the recipe LIED.)

However. Let’s play Perspective. (I’m guessing you’d probably rather play Candy Crush, but suck it up. One game.)

We could go ahead and file our muffins under Disasters in Baking — that would be one option. We could decide to go buy something beautiful down the street — that would be Part II of that option.

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Or…or, we could pop (pry?) them out of their pan. Scrape off the too-toasty tops, and split one down the middle. Watch the steam curl up towards the ceiling.

Did Humbly Homemade (and still hot!) sound like a no-brainer to you? I hope so. Because if those muffins were a failure…well, failure doesn’t taste nearly as bad as I thought it would.

Failure tastes like a crispy cornmeal top. With baked blueberries just bursting with juice, just under the lid. Failure tastes like pretty little pockets of peach, nestled next to every inky purple dot. Failure tastes like a warm weight in the palm of my hand, and a sheen of butter, all over my fingertips. In other words: Failure tastes like NOT A BAD TRY!

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I think I’d like to fail again. I think I’d like to fail trying to do something with those summer tomatoes that I saw at the market. (The best farmer’s market to date!)

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Color-blocked tomatoes. You guys, I think I’m in the right place. I wish you could have lunch with me. Even though I’m three hours behind you now, and chances are you’re well on your way to dinner.

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But if you were here, would I be able to tempt you with Kenzi’s Roasted Tomatoes and Onions on Toast? (You should say yes. I know Kenzi, and Kenzi knows toast.)

We could also save that recipe for Tomorrow Lunch, and spend the same amount of money buying ourselves an heirloom tomato. If you wanted. Primarily because the guy selling them is cute, in a not-trying-too-hard way. But also because one big summer tomato makes for an excellent lunch, when sliced and sprinkled with salt.

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You know this, though. And you know to add cheese, on the side. For protein. For fun. (Of course!)

And you probably already know this, too: I am so afraid to fail.

I am afraid of failing — actually failing — and it goes far beyond worrying about how to do justice to all of the perfect peaches currently sitting on the kitchen floor. In an artsy photo attempt that didn’t quite make the grade.

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I am afraid to take a job that feels too hard.

I am afraid to tell the tomato whisperer with the gorgeous hands that I just moved to town. That I hope to see him around.

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I am afraid that I will never see the end of all of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the nope-not-at-all.

I am afraid of gaining weight. Really afraid.

I am afraid of not finding the help I need. Or that I won’t want to find it, really.

I am afraid of getting lost. (In 80+ miles of trails, in 5,000+ acres of park. Within 10 minutes from home!!)

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And I am afraid of feeling as lonely here as I did in NYC. (And in Maine — after and before.)

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I’m afraid I will always feel like I’m just observing. Always just taking notes, taking pictures. Always just telling stories.

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