Apparently the key to good writing is the promise of being able to make muffins. At least that's what works for me. On Friday I was having problems with a section in the writing and just couldn't seem to get my mind to it. It was going really slowly and there was no good argument coming, and at one point I was worried that I'd managed to write everything from the conclusion without having produced any evidence to support my claims.
Then I thought about how much I'd like to be baking rather than sitting in front of the computer banging my head against a psychotopographical brick wall.* Suddenly whilst flicking through my notes for the millionth time I stumbled across the most amazing quotation from Brian Jarvis that would not only back up my argument, but reminded me what it was in the first place. Even better, it pushed me over my word limit target for the day and voila! I was suddenly free to bake muffins.
Since N and I were planning to go out I decided to make a batch of large muffins for breakfast and N's lunch and a batch of mini-muffins to be secreted in my bag for stragetic munching if we got peckish whilst out.
Mum had mentioned that she'd had a lemon and poppyseed muffin whilst on holiday and how nice it was, and it reminded me of how much I love that combination. It's a good breakfast muffin as it's not too sweet and has the added goodness of the seeds. Plus the refreshing lemon is good for waking me up!
Since I was in a celebratory mood I used bright shiny papers for the mini-muffins and my new animal papers for the large ones. I know it seems a bit childish, but come on, what could be bad about smiling lions and zebras when you unwrap your breakfast!
Lemon poppyseed muffins - Adapted from Muffins Galore by Catherine Atkinson
Makes twelve medium muffins and six ickle ones, or twelve large.
zest and juice of two lemons
225g caster sugar
300 Self-raising four
2 tbsp poppyseeds
1 egg, beaten
60g butter, melted
Preheat oven to 200C and line a muffin pan with 12 cases
Mix 2 tbsp lemon juice and 2 tbsp of sugar and set aside
Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and combine well. Place the wet ingredients in a jug, beat to combine. Add the wet to the dry, stiring until just combined - lumps are good in muffins, it gives them their texture.
Divide into the lined muffin tin and bake for 20 mins, or until risen and golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
When still slightly warm brush the lemon and sugar mixtre over the muffins so it soaks them through and slightly glazes the top.
* I've decided that a psychotopographical brick wall would be one that would get harder or softer depending on the extremity of your emotions. See what's happened, I've become so involved in the PhD that I'm inventing features of hypothetical psychotopographical architectural elements.