The more this old world is filled with big noisy things – both the “help me build my platform for good” things and the “this is truly the thing that will be our complete undoing” things – the more I fall in love with the little things. You know, things that could easily go unnoticed because they don’t require a band to announce their arrival. Kind words, simple gestures, precious gifts, sweet moments that shake the dust off a soul so it can be warmed by sunshine.
Things like a lemon. Honestly, I don’t remember telling my new friend Janet just how much I love lemons – or that I would use my allowance money to purchase them instead of candy at the 7-11 down the street when I was a kid – but she gave me one. She grew it, and it is gorgeous. It just looks happy. The Lord has such a beautiful way of showing His affection for us. Janet was His hands and heart to me in fragrant yellow donned with a leaf. Part of me wishes I could keep it and put it on display as a reminder of God’s amazing imagination and creativity, and part of me is already dreaming of all the ways I might use it. I’m thinking it might be happiest as Rosemary Lemon Chicken (so my husband can enjoy it too), but I’m also thinking it might find its joy allowing me to just reminisce – with a sprinkle of sugar or salt.
In keeping with the beauty of little things, I thought I’d share a sweet treat I had the privilege of making for a bunch of beautiful women this past week – sisters, really (which in itself is a kind gift). If you don’t like my mini-version, you can certainly bake these up in regular muffin tins (you’ll get about 25 or so). Maybe they’ll warm your soul like you do mine. Because you do, you know.
Peach Cobbler Mini-Muffins
(makes about 80)
2-1/4 cups flour
1 t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 T. vanilla (you know the drill –use Mexican if you’ve got it)
1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yoghurt (the yoghurt is perfect)
2 t. cinnamon
½ t. ginger
½ t. nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
8 fresh peaches, OR 1 large bag frozen peaches, OR 3 cans peach slices in their own juice
2 t. cinnamon
2 T. sugar
1 cup flour
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 t. cinnamon
1 stick butter, cold and cut into slices
1 t. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350, and prepare muffin tins with liners.
First, prepare your peaches. If you are using fresh peaches, remove the skins and slice. If you are using canned, be sure to drain thoroughly. Place the peaces in a food processor or blender, and pulse in sugar and spices until you have a finely diced mixture. (If you are making larger muffins, you can rough chop by hand rather than use a food processor). Set aside.
Next, prepare your crumb topping. Place all ingredients in a bowl and use a pastry cutter, fork, or your fingers to combine until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
Now, let’s make muffins. Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream the eggs and sugar at medium speed. Add the vegetable oil and vanilla and mix until well-incorporated. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the Greek yogurt into the egg mixture until blended.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for about 10 minutes or until set but not browned. Remove from oven and top with about a teaspoon of peaches. Sprinkle crumb mixture on top and return to oven. Continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes or until crumb mixture is lightly browned and peaches are bubbly. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for a bit before indulging or sharing with others.