A delicious fall treat, the dense crumb is a cross between a scone and a cake. They are delicious warm, but keep their flavour and moisture into the next couple of days. This makes 12 large size muffins. Use 18 cups for a more modest sized muffin and check to see if done at 20 minutes. After they have fully cooled store in an airtight container.
Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside
In a stand mixer, combine the butter, brown sugar and white sugar at medium high speed until light and fluffy, about one minute.
Beat in the eggs until fully incorporated.
Reduce the speed to medium and add in the milk, vanilla and ginger.
On low speed add the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Don't over mix.
Gently fold in the pears and chocolate chips just until evenly distributed.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups.
Bake until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
Keyword Fall treats, Muffin, Pear
Leek and Potato Soup
Many leek and potato soups are blended to a cream. This one is still creamy and buttery, but left chunky and attractively coloured with the green of the leek and parsley and orange of the sweet potato.
Trim the rooted end off the leek. Then slice the white part in half lengthwise and then across into semi circles about 1/4 inch thick. Remove the tough outer edges from the green part and slice the more tender inner leaves into 1/4 inch rounds. Rinse carefully in a colander to remove all dirt.
Melt the butter in a medium size sauce pan over medium-low heat. The pot should be just hot enough to melt the butter - it should not sizzle or brown.
Add the diced onion, chopped leek and parsley stems to the melted butter. Stir to coat and then cover the pot with a lid to let the vegetables sweat and soften. Make sure the heat is low enough that the vegetables will not brown.
After 10 minutes stir and then add the 2 cups of stock and sweet and white potato cubes. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, until the potato has softened.
Add the 2 cups of milk and warm over medium-low heat, just until the soup is heated. Add the salt, ground pepper and 1/2 the chopped parsley leaves. Serve immediately garnished with the remaining parsley. Note: if you let the milk over heat or if you don't serve it right away it may develop an unattractive layer on top, but it can be stirred in and it will still taste delicious. Alternatively, prepare the soup up to where the potatoes are cooked and then add and heat the milk just before serving.
I received a call on Friday afternoon, the end of another intense work week. I was hoping to be a winner of the QE2 home lottery so I stepped out of my meeting to take it, rather than just letting it go to voicemail.
“Jennifer?” ask the female voice on the other end.
“I’m calling form the NS breast Screening Clinic in follow-up to your mammogram last week. The radiologist wants you to come in for an ultrasound. He has an opening on October 21st.”
“Ok. I can do that.” I didn’t check my calendar. This would be a priority over everything els,e because of course, what’s going through my head is “They found something. I’ve got cancer”.
I jot down the logistics, time, place, note I need to arrive 15 minutes before, no deodorant.
As she says goodbye I blurt out. “Wait! Do you know where the issue is? What they want to look at?”
“I don’t have any other information. Everything will be forwarded to your doctor. Bye.”
Click. My hands are shaking, my head spinning.
My first thought is “My kids. What will happen if I’m sick or die. I don’t want to put them through that. I don’t want them to grow up with out a mother. “
My immediate next thought is “At least work will give me a less stressful job. Or I’ll go on sick leave and get to rest.” As I daydream about watching Netflix, making delicious meals, I recognize I am feeling relief. But whoa – that’s messed up.
After googling, I see that it’s common to be called back after a mammogram, especially your first one. And at 41 this was my first. Seldom does the outcome end of being a cancer diagnosis. More often it’s a blurry image, a cyst, thick breast tissue. Why couldn’t the woman that called me have framed her call in that way?
Nevertheless, I’m taking stock.
If I knew my body was growing cancer, would I have that ice cream, glass of wine, third coffee, red meat? Wouldn’t I make more time for exercise and sleep?Would I spend my time trying to keep up with a completely unrealistic workload, or finally make sure that Cole and Connor have a beautiful book of their first year of life, like Cohen does?
Mostly – what the f*&$ is up with the relief I felt cancer would give me from my job? That is crazy! It shows me that at my core, I’m behaving as though my job is out of my control.
This has something to do with the way my insides, my thought patterns are built. The way I respond internally to what’s happening externally. That’s tough stuff to change. But change it I must. I’m not waiting for a cancer diagnosis or other life crisis to change it for me. My life is now. My opportunity is now.