by Ramona Tevis on July 26, 2019

FOOD FOR THOUGHT BY RAMONA TEVIS

My husband would tell you that I have 704 favorite things! And I do! I like a whole bunch of stuff and am enthusiastic about what I am experiencing in the moment. So it will be hard for him to take me seriously when I say Almond Poppy Seed Muffins are my favorite muffin, but I’m just sayin’ …


Almond Poppy Seed Muffins are my favorite muffin!


More cake-ish than muffin with a tender crumb, almond flavor perfectly balanced with the crunch of poppy seeds, and a sweet almond glaze that is literally the icing on the cake. And my favorite (there’s that word again!) way to eat them is on an early weekend morning, sitting on the back deck before the day has turned warm, my dog Ellie lying at my feet, flowers watered, enjoying the peace of the day before the wonderful chaos of my family waking up. Oh happy day!

Summer Cookout continues and Janet Galante, one of the FCC-JC pastors, recently discussed the story of Mary and Martha. I am a Martha and I must admit, usually get frustrated with how unappreciated Martha appears to be. I loved Janet’s teaching of this familiar passage. Martha’s hospitality and the preparations she made to welcome Jesus into her home are a good thing.


Jesus calls us to welcome and invite people in.


And Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet is a good thing. Mary sat in the posture of a student. The word “student” is a synonym for disciple (dictionary.com) and Jesus calls us to be His disciples. So both Martha and Mary were doing what they were called to do.

The problem lay in Martha’s annoyed attitude towards Mary. Martha expected Mary to serve Jesus in the same way she was and in doing so, she completely negated the unique gift of study which Mary had been blessed with. Jesus did not like Mary better because she sat at His feet. Jesus, who has numbered the hairs on our head and knows our inner-most being, fully appreciated every moment of preparation Martha had made for Him. And when her attitude towards Mary removed the joy of utilizing her own gifts, it was time for a conversation. Not a conversation of condemnation but a shift in perspective. Each individual has been given a gift totally unique to them.


No one serves in exactly the same way and because of this, the ways and means of serving Jesus are infinite and equally important.


Janet issued an awesome challenge to “serve with your unique gifts and celebrate the unique gifts of others.” So as I sit with my Almond Poppy Seed muffin on a summer Saturday morning, perhaps the Mary is coming out in me.

I initially discovered this recipe on Pinterest posted by The View from the Great Island but made a few modifications. I reduced the amount of flour to make moister batter and doubled the amount of almond extract as almond flavor is my favorite! Instead of using milk in the glaze as the original recipe calls for, I use cream for a richer flavor. Frosting, icing, glaze, whatever you like to call it, is always better with cream! When mixing any muffin batter, use a very gentle hand to ensure a tender cake. Avoid a traditional stirring motion, instead gently folding the wet ingredients into the dry. Otherwise you may end up with hockey pucks!


ALMOND POPPY SEED MUFFINS
FROM THE RECIPE BOX OF RAMONA TEVIS

MUFFIN:

1 ¾ c flour
1 c sugar
1 T baking powder
1 t baking soda
½ t salt
¼ c poppy seeds
1 ½ c sour cream
2 eggs
2 t almond extract
½ c butter, melted and slightly cooled

GLAZE:

¾ - 1 c powdered sugar
½ t almond extract
2-3 T cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with muffin papers. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powders, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds. Whisk together sour cream, eggs, and almond extract. Add melted and cooled butter. Add wet ingredients to dry mixing very gently just until dry ingredients are blended. Fill muffin cups. If using large muffin papers, will make 12 large muffins. If using regular size muffin papers, makes about 16. Bake for 20 min until golden and toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

Cool slightly before glazing. To make glaze, stir together powdered sugar, almond extract, and cream. Drizzle over muffins.

Pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee and enjoy!


Up next – Zucchini Bread made with fresh from the garden zucchinis.


As the end of summer begins to close in, what summer food have you not yet had a chance to make? I would love to hear your favorite recipes!

Tags: recipe, muffin, summer cookout