This movie is a must see.
Though less spectacular than "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind" or "Castle in the Sky," "Kiki's Delivery Service" [the original Japanese title is "The Witch's Delivery Service"] has always been a secret favorite. A story about a witch that leaves her home to discover independence and make it on her own [with the most adorable black cat], she befriends a boy who rides a fixed gear and dreams of flying.
Small wonder I love the movie. But it gets even better. Kiki starts working as a courier [on her broom, of course] for a bakery, delivering cakes, bread, and all manner of baked goodies. She ends up losing her ability to fly at one point, though, due to her own self-doubt and insecurity.
I was definitely channeling Kiki yesterday. All I was missing, really, was a big, red bow in my hair [I even have her bangs now!]. Getting up way too early to find a still-sore knee, I still trotted out the show pony for the Bay State Bike Week ride to City Hall. And then, having gotten up at the asscrack of dawn, I stopped by 2nd Cup Cafe to guzzle an espresso.
Which meant the prospect of a nap then was out of the question. So I sat around restlessly, encountering writer's block here and there, until, spotting a particular poster in my room, I remembered a promise for blueberry muffins.
Erich had put aside the Embrocation Cycling Journal poster taped up at IBC for me, way back in March. It's May. This was one promise I could bust out in a few hours.
I got mixing and measuring. Ran out of sugar but made do [they didn't come out super sweet, but Dan M. described them as "delicious"]. Did laps between my computer and the oven as they baked; and after they cooled, they went into a box, which was then tucked into my bag. I forgot the red bow in my hair, but I delivered [to IBC].
There was a new chainring waiting for me too. And a new chain. And thus, a straight chain line [for once!]. There was even talk of training for 'cross season and jogging. On the way home, I contemplated how I would handle coming in DFL on my first 'cross race. Uncharacteristically, I think in a way I wouldn't care [as long as I didn't break anything in the process].
I figure, as long as I'm fast enough to deliver baked goods, that's good enough for me.
Kiki's Blueberry Muffins Adapted from this recipe.
For the streusel topping:
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter 1/3 cup brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1. In a bowl, combine all of the streusel topping ingredients. 2. With your fingers, mix until you have a crumbly mixture. 3. Set aside if using immediately or store in the refrigerator.
For the muffins:
1/2 cup vegetable oil [or 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup applesauce] 1-1/3 cup packed brown sugar [I only used 1 cup] 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest 1 egg 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 cup low fat plain yogurt 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1-1/2 cups blueberries [fresh or frozen]
1. Preheat the oven to 400F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. If you don’t have paper liners butter and flour the muffin tin. 2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. 3. In another bowl, combine the oil, brown sugar, zest and egg. Once combined, stir in the buttermilk and vanilla extract. 4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Gently mix in the fruit. If the batter seems to liquidy, add a tiny bit more flour. The batter should be fairly stiff. 5. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups filling them right to the top. Divide the streusel topping equally among the muffins. 6. Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the temperature to 350 F and bake for an additional 12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 7. Cool the muffins in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the muffins and let cool on a wire rack. 8. Package securely and deliver [to your local bike shop].