Peanut Butter White Chocolate Muffins + Growing Orchids

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Currently, there is an orchid sitting on the window sill next to our kitchen table.  No buds on it yet, although this time last year, I counted eight or ten beautiful purple flowers.

Yesterday, I finally noticed that there weren't any buds.  I worried for a moment, although the rest of the plant looks healthy, that maybe it had finally decided to die.   You see, I am kind of a plant nurse.

In a past life, before I had Fox, I worked at a dental office, and we ran through a series of plants that were either killed by inexperienced gardeners, or died from lack of sunlight, and when they were on their way out, I often took them home (I probably brought six or seven plants home over the course of a year).

I love having plants in my home, but they are kind of expensive to buy, so I decided to give these secondhand plants another shot at life, and babied them along.  But one by one, bad things happened to them; one (a gorgeous purple hydrangea) got infested with bugs, a few withered and died, and one or two I gave up on and tossed.

This orchid was the last plant I brought home, and it sat on my window sill for about nine months, almost forgotten.  I would water it when I remembered, usually every week or so, and expected it to fade and die like the others.

Then, one day, I saw a bud appear!  I was completely surprised and thrilled.  I got one flower out of it that time.  The next time it bloomed, I got three.  The next, fourteen.  Each flower was a gift, and I was thrilled every time a new one would appear

We took this plant to Utah last summer, and the long, hot car ride was a little traumatizing for it, I think.  All the petals fell off, and it hasn't bloomed since.

Yesterday, when I caught myself looking at it, I remembered what my gardener mother-in-law said about orchids, "When you want them to bloom, put them in the sunshine."

Now it sits on the windowsill, waiting for the sunshine to help it bloom.  Then my thoughts turned to me.  How often do I fill my life so full of other things that I forget to put myself in the sunshine?  To remember to find the happy in every day, or to appreciate the little things, to find joy in the things I do every day, and to remember that I have been giving so much.

My mom often says that you have to make your own sunshine, and I think I am finally starting to understand.  That doesn't mean the laundry suddenly gets really fun, or that I will ever love doing dishes, but maybe I can take a breather and enjoy the morning on the balcony with Fox.  Be present at the park.  Get down and play trains on the floor, and enjoy the wonder, the smiles and the new words of my little boy.  Take a break from social media and really listen to my husband.

Not every moment is sunshine, but there are sunshine moments to be had every day, so look for them, and you will see them.  I am starting to see them, too.

Peanut Butter White Chocolate Muffins: 
slightly adapted from the Blendtec Cookbook
Serves 12

1 cup milk
2 large eggs
2/3 cup white sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs baking powder
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 - 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

In a large glass (or microwave safe bowl), melt the peanut butter slightly, until it is runny.  Add the sugar, then the eggs, then the milk and beat until combined.  Then add the flour, salt, baking powder and flour all at once, and mix until just combined.  Add white chocolate and mix briefly/gently until evenly distributed.

Grease a muffin tin, and scoop the batter into the tins.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are beginning to brown, and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes, and turn out onto a wire cooling rack.  Best if eaten immediately.


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