Today is my niece’s birthday. Apolline lives in France, and I haven’t met her yet. That’s all going to change this summer when she comes to visit me. But this post isn’t really about Apolline. It’s about 2.0 and the cats.
movita: Today is Apolline’s birthday.
movita: Yup. She’s two years ol…
2.0: (slapping his knees) She has the same birthday as ebony!
movita: No. You said ebony’s birthday was on March 23rd. That was last week.
2.0: Oh my god! We forgot her birthday!
movita: Well, we didn’t forget, you forgot… (2.0 runs to ebony, and grabs her head.)
2.0: How old are you kitty? Let me count… (lots of muttering) Twelve. I have decided that you are twelve today.
2.0: Let’s get her a bird!
2.0: Let’s get her a bird!
movita: A real bird?
2.0: Well, just one of those little guys from the pet store.
movita: Wait. A live bird?
2.0: Duh! Why would she want a dead one?
movita: No. No, no, no. We’ve discussed this. No live birds in the house. Actually, no bringing any live animals into the house for the cats to kill.
2.0: (2.0 runs over to effie.) Don’t worry, effie, we’ll get you a fish for your thirteenth birthday!
movita: But effie isn’t turning thirteen…
2.0: Uh, yah, I know. Geez. (rolling his eyes) You get a bird for your twelfth birthday. And a fish for your thirteenth.
movita: A live fish?
2.0: Well, she’ll want to feel it squirming in her belly. We’ll just get one of those little ones from the pet store.
movita: I’m pretty sure it will be dead before it reaches her belly. (2.0 is now standing by niles.)
2.0: What? What did you say niles? You want a hamster for your birthday?
movita: Honey, no…
2.0: Let’s go shopping!
So, Apolline, I wish you a happy birthday. I hope no one got you any live animals to eat. Perhaps you will let me make you some of these muffins when you are visiting this summer. I bet your dad would like them – they don’t have lots of healthy crap in them. They are cakey. And topped with brown sugar – which makes any muffin taste better. Oh, and I threw some cinnamon in there to compliment the nectarines. Because that’s how we roll here. And a happy belated birthday to ebony – thank goodness 2.0 got distracted by that bakery when we were out shopping. . . .
recipe: adapted from Homestyle’s Cookies, Muffins and Cakes print and bake for someone Yields about 18 muffins.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 cup milk
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 heaping cup peeled, diced nectarine (1-2 nectarines)
- 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar for topping
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease or line 18 muffin wells. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir in the brown sugar. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together the butter and milk, and then stir in the lightly beaten eggs. Pour all at once into the centre of the dry ingredients, and then fold until just combined. The batter will be lumpy – don’t over mix. Fold in the diced nectarines. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins and sprinkle a little brown sugar on to the top of each muffin. Bake for about 15-17 minutes, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack.