rhubarb muffins and an open letter to my brother and sister

rhubarb muffins | movita beaucoup

Dear Adopamop and Haddy,

Mum broke her wrist. So, your decision to move away from Nova Scotia has officially paid off. But that’s not a surprise, is it? I mean, you knew our parents would start to… decline, and I’d be the one taking care of things. I just thought I’d have more money when it happened, and could ship them off to a retirement community in Miami.

rhubarb muffins | movita beaucoup

I knew things were bad when 2.0 called me on Saturday night. I was having sushi with a friend when my cell phone lit up like a wee Christmas tree. But it wasn’t Christmas at the Beaucoups’. Nope, it was way more stressful. Mostly because 2.0 made it sound like one of our parents was dead. So, when I found out that Mum was actually alive, and had just shattered her wrist, I was relieved. (Until I saw it.)

When I called Mum to see if I should get to the hospital, she answered her cell phone with: I’ll never knit again! I’ll never knit again! And then I had to listen to her trying to fasten her seatbelt for about 5 minutes.

rhubarb muffins | movita beaucoup

It’s bad. I’m mean, disgustingly bad. And I had to take her BACK to the emergency room on Monday for additional care from her new favourite person, Dr. Best. You’ve been replaced, Adopamop. Dr. Best is the son she’s always wanted. I had to… just a second, I just threw up in my mouth a little… hold her cast while Dr. Best did sh*t to it. And then I had to got to see her x-rays. Mum really liked that part, because when we got home she could tell Dad about all the mistakes he had made interpreting the images after seeing them on Saturday night.

She’s in a lot of pain. And the drugs don’t seem to be helping much. I got her some of the good stuff from Dr. Best on Monday, but she’s saying it hurts her stomach. The thing is, if she’d just take the stuff, she’d sleep, and I wouldn’t have to listen to her complaining about her stomach. She also – wait for it – assured Dr. Best that she would be very responsible with the drugs so as to not become an addict. (She was wearing a pink cardigan and nodding very seriously at the time.)

rhubarb muffins | movita beaucoup

Yesterday, she snuck out of the house. I thought she was resting quietly in bed, and then I caught her in the garden trying to harvest flowers for a centrepiece. Dr. Best told her she needs rest and relaxation. Then he made the huge mistake of mentioning that she should move her arm around a few times a day, so it doesn’t get too stiff. But she keeps saying that he told her to be “active.” He didn’t. He specifically said: you should be taking it easy. (Like a doctor would ever tell a senior citizen to be active!) In fact, Mum has reinterpreted everything Dr. Best said INCORRECTLY. Next time, I’m going to record what the doctor says so I can play it back for her. (Lesson learned.)

There is some good news: I don’t have to help Mum go to the bathroom.

(Yet.)

rhubarb muffins | movita beaucoup

I made some rhubarb muffins to help with Mum’s healing. They are really good. I’m not ever going to make any for you, so if you want some, you’ll have to make ’em yourself. I added a wee bit of mace and cinnamon to the batter because I’ve learned that rhubarb likes a little spice. There’s also buttermilk in there. Buttermilk makes everything better. The muffins are sprinkled with cinnamon and brown sugar which makes the top sweet and crunchy when you bite into it. There’s lots of topping – use it all, for cripes sake. When did people decide muffins have to be so damn healthy? If I want birdseed for breakfast, I’ll hit the feeder on our deck. The tangy rhubarb in the muffin is balanced by dark brown sugar – you could use light brown sugar, but I think dark is the best. Rhubarb REALLY likes dark brown sugar.

rhubarb muffins | movita beaucoup

Whelp, I hope you are enjoying yourselves right now. My favourite picture in the dining room? And the the antique china? It’s mine when our parents head to that big bistro in the sky. I wouldn’t argue if I were you.

Sincerely,

movita

. . .

Rhubarb Muffins

recipe: adapted from Canadian Living

print and bake

Yields about 18 muffins, depending on depth of muffin wells.

For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the muffins:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon mace
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (or other neutral flavoured vegetable oil)
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups diced rhubarb

Mise en place – begin by getting organized. Let your buttermilk and eggs come to room temperature. Measure out all of your ingredients, and prep your muffin tins.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease or line muffin tin(s).

Make the topping by combining the brown sugar, melted butter and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

In large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, mace and cinnamon.

In separate bowl, blend the brown sugar with canola oil – using a whisk to break up the brown sugar if necessary. Whisk in the egg. Whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mixing until just combined – avoid over-mixing. Fold in the rhubarb. Spoon the batter into muffin wells, filling about three-quarters full. Sprinkle the topping over the batter.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden and a cake tester inserted into centre comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 5-10 minutes before removing to let cool completely on wire racks.

42 Responses to rhubarb muffins and an open letter to my brother and sister

  1. ibreatheimhungry June 5, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    Sorry to hear about Rosie Beaucoup’s wrist! Hope Dr. Best lives up to his name and it heals perfectly, and she’s back to knitting pink cardigans soon – hopefully not in rehab! ha ha! Meanwhile, I LOVE rhubarb and these muffins sound divine – definitely with lots of topping because that’s clearly the best part of any muffin! Hang in there! XO

    • movita beaucoup June 6, 2013 at 7:05 am #

      Rosie’s getting a new cast tomorrow – with a different doctor. I only hope she loves him half as much as Dr. Best! I told her to request pink plaster – she seems reluctant…

  2. Dana Staves June 5, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    What’s that old saying? Revenge is a dish best served in muffin cups?

    • movita beaucoup June 6, 2013 at 7:06 am #

      Yes. That is the saying. I will use it frequently in the coming weeks…

  3. Mama v June 5, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    Your next challenge is to hide all Rosie Beaucoup’s knitting needles without upsetting her…. once the cast has been on a while it becomes itchy and it will make Dr Best VERY unhappy if she starts jamming them down her cast (voice of experience) – hope she’s feeling better soon oh and thanks for making me feel guilty,(being one that moved ‘away’) and she’s not even my mother!!. 😉

    • movita beaucoup June 6, 2013 at 7:11 am #

      Dear lord, I hadn’t even thought about the itching! Right now it’s all about the pain. I think I’ve got time to hide the needles and anything else long and pointy I can find in the house…

  4. Willow June 5, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    I’m sorry to hear about your mum’s wrist. I’ve been there, and it isn’t fun (with the broke wrist, I mean, not with the taking care of an injured parent). I thank you, however, for turning your own strife into such an entertaining read for the rest of us – and, of course, a tasty recipe. I really adore rhubarb in things like pies and crumbles, but I don’t think I’ve ever had it baked into a batter like cakes or muffins… definitely something on my to-try list. Hope your mum heals up quickly!

    • movita beaucoup June 6, 2013 at 7:17 am #

      Rhubarb cakes and muffins are my favourites! Mostly because it’s cake. I LOVE CAKE.

      Hmmm…. maybe I should make some rhubarb cake today?

  5. rosiebeaucoup June 5, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    My period of relative dependency is going to be short lived in the overall history of man. I can shower and do my hair, put on makeup, dress, weed with one hand, plant flowers with one hand, type on an iPad, and finally get around to reading War and Peace.
    Unfortunately, I cannot knit, chop vegetables, or mow the lawns. And it is mighty hard to look stylish when pull-on pants and big tops are the best options for dressing oneself.
    This experience has confirmed two things. Most medications have a downside and the quicker you can get off them the better. A little Advil is proving to be best.
    And Movita is a very good cook.

    • movita beaucoup June 6, 2013 at 7:22 am #

      You are supposed to be resting.

      GET OFF THE INTERWEB AND GET TO BED.

  6. Bonnie June 5, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    So sorry to hear of your Mom’s accident, but glad to read (above) that she is doing well. It’s amazing what one can do, especially when you want to press all your daughter’s buttons. Seriously, Movita, you are a good daughter, caregiver, blogger, baker, candlestick maker, etc. The muffins look delish.

    • movita beaucoup June 6, 2013 at 7:34 am #

      Thanks, Bonnie! Rosie will be up and running in no time…

  7. emmalina73 June 5, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    Well if you gave your Mama a sack load of those muffins then she is well on her way to recovery. It is well known (by science) that dark sugar helps to knit bones together and generally heal things in a miraculous way. Don’t look it up, just trust me, it is so.

    Sending healy love and get well soon vibes to you and your Mum xxx

    PS Try putting a bit of mint on her wrist, there is nothing mint does not make better.

    • movita beaucoup June 6, 2013 at 7:36 am #

      I’m going to find some mint right away and slather it all over her.

  8. rockandwool June 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    DRUM ROLE FOR SURE!!

    I LOVE my movita and her mommy and hope my girLs will be good to me someday, too!!
    I’m going to save this posting, so they’ll remember…….he recipe 🙂

    Carry on, sister x-x-x-x

    • movita beaucoup June 6, 2013 at 7:40 am #

      You should put together a book of recipes for future reference. That way you’ll get to eat EVERYTHING you like should you ever find yourself in a similar situation to Rosie. Perfect planning… xox

  9. Ashley Bee June 5, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    Your posts always crack me up, and then give me good food. It’s win-win. I dread the day I have to do something like this… you’re a good daughter.

    • movita beaucoup June 6, 2013 at 7:50 am #

      Dread the day you have to help someone go to the bathroom. That’s my metre stick awfulness.

  10. frugalfeeding June 5, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    Gorgeous muffins – I missed out on the good rhubarb here this year which is a shame. Yorkshire forced rhubarb is unbelievable. I like the way you’ve topped these 🙂

    • movita beaucoup June 6, 2013 at 7:51 am #

      I’ve got rhubarb comin’ outta my ears right now! I chopped up two bags full yesterday, and there’s more to process today. But I love the stuff!

  11. Amy June 5, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    This was an amusing post…but also serious at the same time- My mom has been given, by default, the task of taking care of my aging grandma (her two siblings also moved away). I’m glad your mother had just a little accident and is on the mend. My grandma fell, then got shingles and has gone down hill quickly. It’s amazing how much time my mom has to spend monitoring her health despite the fact that she has 24 hr care. It’s sad because she’s mentally 100% there. Sorry to be a downer 🙁 It cracked me up imagining your mom sneak out of the house…like a teenager in the night, hehe. On a happier note, your muffins look delicious!

    • movita beaucoup June 6, 2013 at 8:02 am #

      I’m so glad Rosie will be on the mend soon, and that it isn’t any worse, I simply can’t imagine.

      Now, if only I could convince her to stay in bed…

  12. Renee June 5, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    I can’t stop laughing! But seriously, I hope your mom feels better soon and that her wrist doesn’t take too long to heal. You’re a good daughter – I bet she appreciates the heck out of you.

    • movita beaucoup June 6, 2013 at 8:04 am #

      This week has given me my one and only chance to boss Rosie Beaucoup around.

      It’s the best!

  13. gottagetbaked June 6, 2013 at 2:39 am #

    Good Lord, I’m sorry to hear about your mom’s wrist! And I can totally relate to your mom trying to do crazy things with her injured arm. My mom will keep on keeping on no matter what her physical condition is. They’re like machines – insane, unstoppable-unless-you-tie-them-down machines! Thankfully you have your sense of humour and these muffins to help you through.

    • movita beaucoup June 6, 2013 at 8:05 am #

      Great idea! I’m going to tie her down this afternoon…

  14. Anonymous June 6, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    So very sorry about your mum’s (repectfully using Nova Scotias name-for who we here in Pennsylvania-call mom) situation (and what seems to be yours as well). Good call with these here muffins! I can’t wait until we have rhubarb! Don’t let anyone take your fantastic sense of humor-we all love it! So glad I “fell” into your blog. You are a keeper 🙂
    Nancy

  15. Stacy June 6, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    You are a saint, Movita! Tell your brother and sister that they should name you in their wills as well. It’s only fair. Plus, those muffins are gorgeous. Hope your mother recovers quickly and that you can manage to make her rest. (Have you considered crushing the pills and adding them to her share of the muffins?)

  16. shannon June 7, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    i like how Rosie Beaucoup gets on the interwebs to tell you what she can and can’t do. you let her know that she could indeed chop vegetables, but she’d probably have to sort of hack it out a la mass-murder style. Maybe she could pretend there was an imaginary bear in her garden and she’s trying to defend herself?
    just trying to help. 🙂 I’ll take 7 of those muffins for breakfast this morning, please.

  17. Eggton June 7, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    I had rhubarb last night for the first time and it was delicious. So sweet!

    It sounds like you might have to find an alternative crafting activity for your mom since she can’t knit for a while. Around here we like to put smiley stickers on stuff, including: (a) tax returns, (b) rent checks; (c) work memos. She should try it. Maybe I’ll send her a package of scratch-n-sniffs to get her started.

  18. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen June 8, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    Oh, Movita.. what a dreadful experience for your mom.. and you! Those sorts of phone calls are heart wrenching and it must have been a relief that your mom would be all right again, with tlc and time! Give her my love, even though she doesn’t know who I am.. I feel for her distress. Ask her to rest well for you, we are all watching.. er, reading:) Much love.. oh, and “yes” to those rhubarb muffins!!! xx Smidge

  19. natalie @ wee eats June 8, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    HAHA! When *DID* people decide that muffins had to be healthy? I’ve never drooled over seeds, but that cinnamon sugar topping, yeah, that has me goin’…

    I’m sorry about your mom, I take care of mine so I feel your pain! It’s not fun, at all, and my brothers and sisters live on the other side of the country sooo yup! Lucky us! *fistbump

  20. PattyAD June 8, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

    Hope Rosie feels better soon! Making these tomorrow morning for breakfast – I asked my brother-in-law for SOME rhubarb – his neighbor grows it & does nothing with it, and he got me a metric TON of the stuff. I have plenty for several batches of strawberry rhubarb jam, muffins, scones, cobbler, pie, and lots of other stuff I’ll have to come up with. Luckily, it freezes.

    • PattyAD June 11, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

      These are wonderful. The brown sugar & spices are the perfect blend with the rhubarb – sweet, and just a little tart. The husband & my oldest daughter raved. (Still can’t bring the youngest to try rhubarb yet.)

  21. Rosie Beaucoup June 9, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    You dear, sweet things! Thank you all for your concern and good wishes.
    But listen.
    Rosie Beaucoup is not a weak, frail, white haired old lady. It is true that I have a badly injured arm and will be partially disabled until they choose a course of action, and the final cast, or whatever they use comes off (it really was a very bad, very complicated fracture) but I care for an acre of woodland gardens, power walk, train a dog, paint the house, and go through life at one speed only – moderately fast.
    I would feel like a bit of a cheat, basking in your sympathy, if you all are thinking that I am weak and frail and sit in a rocker with chronic health problems, winding down life and waiting for God.
    That vibrant and funny Movita Beaucoup came from good genes.
    And is sure is great to have her around. I managed to plant two 4 foot window boxes today but I won’t be able to drive myself to the surgeon tomorrow or file the nails on my good hand!
    Movita will make both activities fun.

    • movita beaucoup June 9, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

      Shouldn’t you be writing all of this on your own blog? AND SHOULDN’T YOU BE RESTING? Cripes, woman. You are a very difficult patient.

      • Stacy June 16, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

        Rosie has her own blog? Address, please to be giving! I love you all.

  22. Mama's Gotta Bake June 13, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    I totally relate. I’m going to copy and paste this post and send it to my brothers!

  23. emma September 23, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    Ha HA! I didn’t read this one!

    Hope that makes you feel better. Or something.

    You have a brother you have a brother you have a brother. Got it.

  24. Rock Salt September 26, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    So, what’s happening is this: I’m having a Beaucoup Binge. It’s one of the healthier kinds of binge.

    First up, hope Mrs Beaucoup is healing well and back to two hands. Maybe one of them is a robot hand? That might be cool.

    Secondly, this phrase: ‘I’m not ever going to make any for you, so if you want some, you’ll have to make ‘em yourself.’

    I love it. I want to add it to the end of all my blog posts and say it in people’s faces when they forget that I’m not actually their personal chef, or in fact any kind of chef, just a person who likes to cook sometimes.

  25. movita beaucoup December 28, 2015 at 10:36 am #

    Comments on this post are now closed as it was published in June 2013. Thanks for stopping by!

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