no less spectacular

Driving up the cherry-blossom tree-lined street in the misting night, somehow the first word that came to mind was "galactic". The splendor of the soft rosy poufs against the hazy indigo sky was breathtaking. The view the next morning was no less spectacular. The road has become a tunnel in frothy clouds of pale pink flowers, their perfume coaxing past my cold to remind me that it's spring. Friends came for dinner, which was lovely. J cooked, because he is lovely, but somehow I still felt ill-prepared. Maybe because normally I'm bustling around the kitchen, and physically completing tasks is reassuring. I made what I thought for sure was a failed custard, a clafoutis with frozen raspberries and cranberries which was a soupy mess in the oven long after it was supposed to be cooling on the counter. It redeemed itself at the last minute by firming up and tasting wonderful. Frozen fruit was almost certainly the problem but I would totally do it again, and probably will tomorrow. You see, not a scrap remains.

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The bunnies are coming out every night now and we've streamlined putting down blankets and moving houseplants and other things we don't want nibbled. A nose-to-nose encounter between a cat and a rabbit went very well. These creatures are even more endearing and amusing now that they're more integrated into our household. It's raaaining out now. My mum said it would monsoon today and while she may have been exaggerating it is definitely coming down out there. This is more the kind of weather I was anticipating for a winter in Victoria.

This evening I made cranberry muffins with 1/3 almond flour, 1/3 oat flour and 1/3 wheat flour. The recipe is adapted from Leslie Mackie's wonderful Macrina cookbook.


Not-too-sweet fruit muffins

1 cup almond flour 1 cup oat flour 1 cup white flour 1/2 cup white sugar (I used raw cane sugar that I've been keeping spent vanilla beans in) 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used sucanat) 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder 1 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp cardamom (optional) 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

4 eggs 1 1/2 cups milk 1 tbsp vanilla 1/4 tsp almond extract1 tsp lemon zest (fresh or dry- I always zest lemons when I  have them and dry and save the zest)

8 tbsp butter, melted and cooled slightly

2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen fruit (I used frozen cranberries)

For streusel: a handful or so of oats a small handful sugar a pinch of cinnamon (sliced almonds would be nice too)

Preheat oven to 375º.Stir together dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients except the butter. Fold the wet into the dry just until absorbed and slowly stir in the butter until there are no visible butter streaks, then fold in the fruit. Scoop into greased and lined muffin tins. These won't rise much so fill the muffin cups to the top. Mix the streusel to taste and sprinkle it on top. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops feel almost springy.