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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
. . .
recipe: adapted from Canadian Living
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.