November 6, 2010

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”
— C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)

There have been times in my life when the journey of solitude has been strong, and the desire for a Walden-esqe life is terribly appealing. Wouldn’t this all be a bit more simple if I retreated to a cabin, on my own, engrossed in my own personal discovery and connection with nature?

As I get lost in the question, it does not take long before I am brought back to the reality of joy that other people bring into my life. There is so much beauty in sharing a moment with another soul. Let us walk together and talk about how life is so difficult, and the choices we make have great impact, but that there is grace, and hope. Let us sip tea together in the warmth of home and recount the ways that we have been humbled, and have grown. Let us share a meal and encourage one another to pursue truth. Let us gather with loved ones and strangers alike and break the silence with laughter and wine.

Friendship is not the bread, water, and air that we need to survive. Closeness, companionship, and vulnerability with trusted people is what makes our survival valuable, tolerable. I am grateful to be just old enough to have some old friends – those that never stop caring, never stop carrying. Kindred spirits along the journey.

This week, on a particularly chilly fall morning, I was gifted with the visit of an old friend for breakfast. The warmth of the kitchen, the familiarity of pumpkin, the inspiration of a french press made connecting about the grittiness of life, faith, and love all the easier. Make these muffins to celebrate the season, and to celebrate our ability to openly ask questions about life with those that we call friends.

Pumpkin Muffins

loosely adapted from Gourmet
Yield: 12 muffins


1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 toasted walnuts

Streusel Topping

1/4c packed brown sugar
1/4 c oats
3 tbsp of cold butter

Equipment: a muffin pan (preferably nonstick) with 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups


Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter muffin pan if not nonstick.

Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, brown sugar, pumpkin, yogurt, eggs, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just combined, then stir walnuts.

Divide batter among muffin cups. Combine streusel topping ingredients, crumbling the butter into pea size bits, and sprinkle on top of muffin batter. Bake until a wooden pick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly on a rack. Excellent served warm with butter or pumpkin butter.

And, with the leftover pumpkin I made this pumpkin spice granola.


One Response to “”

  1. Paul said

    Micah and Evan love pumpkin muffins. We will make them this week for sure!

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