As a parent, one of the things I absolutely love is experiencing the different stages in my son’s life through his eyes. He’s 8 and often wiser than his age, always with a fairly cool line on his lips for the various situations we come across in our daily life. Soeren’s easy going, casual and rather witty nature makes him quite popular with kids of all ages. The older ones take a liking to him due to his smart perception and the younger ones adore him instantly for his creative and fun attitude.
When he returns from his adventures his anecdotes keep me amused while I am in the kitchen or photographing and we’ll be constantly giggling or discussing several interesting issues. Being the typical Virgo however, he usually takes forever to think out his stories. There’s no problem with that, but you see his thought process occurs while he actually recounts the stories. One can actually see his train of thought as they develop. His thoughts will often take a detour to make sure we understand each and every aspect of his story and while he sometimes speaks in code (what he and probably other Virgos can only understand), I cannot help but admire the complexity of his mind. For my agile and rather impatient Gemini mind it becomes a tedious practice for me not to usher him along faster and come to the point quicker. As my father is a Virgo too, I’m lucky to have had a lot of practice!
We’ve been through probably all the typical phases a child goes through. The Sesame Street phase, the Eric Carle phase, the nursery rhyme phase, the dinosaur phase, into the soccer phase and now we seem to be entering the so called pre-teen phase.
I am scared!
And totally unprepared for this phase! I was hoping I’d have a few more years before I was thrown out into the wilderness of the pre-teens. But here I am standing in this cage, my knees slightly jittery and with butterflies in my stomach, praying that I come out of this one with flying colors. Especially when I know that this phase is one very long one.
His tantrum outbursts are random and the slamming of the doors often unbearable. The talking back often leaves me flabbergasted, although I have to admit more due to the blithe sarcasm, where I often find myself trying to suppress a smile. I usually handle it with a cool collected and sometimes teasing manner. Other times - I explode!
He’s been playing the guitar for the past 4 years now and I love his perception of how music will play a role in his life. One day as we were swimming in one of the stunning Norwegian fjords this summer, Soeren, totally out of the blue explains he does not want to be a “guitar player” when he grows up. Instead, he goes into a long explanation, he enjoys learning the notes and plans on being a person who writes the songs for other people to play. I was stumped! Mainly because I did not expect such consolidated insight from a child of 8.
Where ever his life takes him and through what ever phase we will tackle, I do know that he is standing on a sound and strong foundation. Being the Gemini mum I am, I won’t force my chagrin, but instead give him wings to find his own way and gently guide him to dream his dreams.
Wish me luck!
“Strawberries – the last of the season.” I looked down at Soeren and saw him holding a basket full of small red strawberries. With gleaming eyes he handed them to me and I smiled – The last Hurrah - at least for this season.
Adding a bit of zesty lime and some polenta gives these wonderful muffins not only a tangy flavor but a fantastic crusty texture. A great way to indulge in the last strawberries of the season!
Strawberry Lime Polenta Muffins
Printable version of recipe here
140g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
140g Muscovado sugar
140g butter, softened
zest of a lime
1 tablespoon milk
150g strawberries, cut 12 into halves and chop remaining into chunks
140g icing sugar
3-4 strawberries, chopped into chunks
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C. Line a 12 hole muffin form with paper cases or lightly butter and flour the form.
- Cream together butter, sugar and lime zest in a large mixing bowl. The mixture should be pale, fluffy and creamy. Add the polenta and continue to whisk, then add the eggs, one at a time until each one is incorporated.
- Sift in the flour and baking powder and using a rubber spatula quickly fold until the batter is thick. Do not worry if it looks lumpy – it’s because of the polenta. Pour in the milk and stir then fold in the strawberry chunks.
- Divide the muffin batter into the muffin tin. Bake for approx. 20 minutes or until they are golden and springy to touch. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then turn them out on a wire rack and cool completely.
At this point the muffins can be stored in air-tight containers for up to 2 days.
- For the frosting mash the strawberries to a pulp with the back of a fork. Add a few drops of the lime juice. Push the mixture through a sieve over the icing sugar. Mix the sugar until the mixture is thick and paste-like.
- Remove the muffin cases carefully from the muffins, then dip the tops into the batter one at a time and immediately decorate with the reserved strawberry halves. Allow to set and dry.
Too good to last for long. These muffins are incredibly fruity and I personally love the polenta, which gives the muffins a great yellow hue and a crunchy texture. A delight with every bite. Both of us grab a muffin and sit cross-legged on the floor with my notebook in front of me. We’re putting together our latest compilation on iTunes. There’s some Katie Perry, Shakira, Pink and Lady Gaga. A bit of Hanna Montana, lots of the Jonas Brothers and a-ha. He listens carefully to each song and picks out the ones with distinct guitar sounds and keyboard notes. See he knows already that in 2 to 3 years he wants to tackle the keyboards. It’s what makes a great songwriter!
Last week I was featured in the Indian Press – something that always gets me excited. The News India Times featured me along with a few great fellow Indian bloggers in their article “Cyberspace Spice” for The Indian American. The article also appears in more detail in the print magazine in New York and as soon as I get my copy I’ll share it with you too.
More muffins from WFLH:
|Orange Chocolate Muffins||Strawberry Almond Muffins|
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