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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Of corn muffins and relationships



I woke up this morning and thought: I love my husband.


We have been married 12 years and been together almost 20, so you are probably thinking it doesn’t take a genius to get that. Or, if you are the cynical kind you are probably thinking: still?

Let’s just say that even if love is presumably the foundation of marriage, it is not always center stage. Life, we all know, gets in the way. Life is quite the diva, cherishing the spotlight, pushing and shoving its way to the front and relegating the true protagonist to the chorus line. Life is… well, larger than life, constantly changing costumes and starring in a variety of roles: work, finances, children, health.


You get the gist, you know what I mean. As much as you promise yourself things won’t change, they do, whether you have kids or not. Just more certainly and quicker if you have kids. And I am not implying they change for the worse, just that they are different.

There are still a lot of cuddles and horsing around, but it usually involves the children too. Kids are just incapable of watching/hearing you share a moment of laughter or tenderness without jumping right into the middle of it.

Your seemingly endless reserves of affection are more finite than you thought once your offspring, on which you reversed your supplies all day, are in bed. Instead of lying on the couch hand in hand, legs intertwined while watching a movie, you both lightly snore with your eyes half open, pretending to be awake.


Moments of intimacy are well planned and consumed behind locked doors in muffler mode. Gone are the days of spur-of-the-moment fun involving surfaces of your d├ęcor other than the bed.

I think we all at some point of a relationship (during a fight, when you reach an important milestone etc.) question how much of life together is routine, companionship or even the unthinkable, a very efficient way to rear a family or to share costs in an expensive metropolis. 


Sometimes it is so hard to see black and white, because contours have a tendency to grey with time. It is hard to tell the difference between a real feeling and the memory of it (like those childhood reminiscences you create in your mind through stories you have heard your parents tell over and over). It is hard to differentiate types of love when sex is no longer the driving factor of the equation.

But then Love, demoted to supporting role or even walk-on by the egotistic diva that is Life, has a way of creeping back when you least expect it. It waits quietly and patiently on the sidelines and then unexpectedly takes center stage for a solo that is so sweet and lovely that it is like watching your first  movie in color after owning a black and white TV.

That is how I felt this morning. Is it because he got back from a trip last night while I was asleep and waking up next to him this morning just made me happy? Is it because some sad news I heard from a friend set my mind racing, making me analyze every facet of my relationship? Is it because there has just been so much going on in our lives this winter that I realized having him with me along the way just makes it so much easier. The truth is it could be either of these reasons or all of them together or maybe none of them. I don’t know and I don’t care. All I know is that Love is the star today and that is all that matters.

Corn muffins are a little like marriage: they are every day food, not glamorous, but easily adaptable. They are a little sweet, slightly salty, moist and comforting yet with that unexpected grainy texture and bite.

The other day I brought some corn muffins to work and a couple of colleagues asked me for the recipe. I told them they could get it from the blog. As I was looking for the link to send them I realized I had never posted corn muffins! How did that happen?

I was very glad I still had a few at home to photograph.



I do not have my own special recipe for corn muffins and used this one because I didn’t have the buttermilk many recipes call for. I was actually also a little short on butter and used a couple of tablespoons of leftover coconut milk I had in the fridge. It worked fine as a substitute, and for those of you who don’t like coconut, there was not a hint of it once baked.



Ingredients (adapted from Ina Garten on Food network)
3 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup cornmeal
2 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 lb (225gr) butter, melted and cooled (I had a little under 200gr so I added 2 tbsp coconut milk)
3 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350° F/180°C and line 12 muffin cups.
Mix flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. In another bowl, combine the milk, butter and eggs. Pour wet ingredients into dry ones and stir until they are just blended at the lowest speed. Fill the paper liners to the top using a spoon. Bake for 30 minutes or until the tops are crunchy and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.




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23 comments:

  1. This is such a wonderful recipe..Thanks for posting it..Bookmarked..

    Aarthi
    http://www.yummytummyaarthi.com/

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  2. I loved this post. Your insight into love and marriage after time and kids is spot on. coming up on 11 years this April and I'm so grateful for him. I just told him this morning I will book a babysitter for our anniversary because we get to be alone so rarely. Your photos in this post are beautiful. Brava :)

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    1. That is the right way to keep love center stage! As tempting as it is to spend all our precious free time with our kids, it is important to keep some moments all to ourselves! Happy anniversary.

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  3. I'm not married and have no kids, but I think I get what you are saying and sometimes I also wonder.... But at the same time I wouldn't change him for anything or anyone...

    And those corn muffins look delicious!

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    1. Marriage or not does not make the difference, it is the time spent together. That is why I changed the word marriage in the title with the word relationships. And, as I wrote, I think it happens with or without kids... kids just seem to accelerate the process. The important thing is knowing he/she is the somebody you wouldn't change for anything/one, as you wrote.

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  4. I'm going to go hug the living heck out of my husband for a minute, BRB...

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  5. Very nice write-up on love and marriage like a horse and carriage type theme; I have not shared this happy experience myself, but can conceive of it being possible! Great corn muffins too, by the way.

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    1. I think nowadays, with the freedom and indipendence women have achieved, marriages are much less likely to last because they just don't put up with things they used to (beacuse let's face it, they didn't have a choice). So more often than not, things don't work out. My marriage is still relatively young, so you never know. But as long as you can still get that feeling of love, then that is good.

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  6. I enjoyed your post very much. We are coming up for our 30th wedding anniversary later this year and you made me remember when our 3 children were younger, they also loved to 'intervene' when they saw mum and dad having hugs.

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    1. I'm glad what I feel is shared by others, that I was able to capture that feeling. I hope they still hug you now that they are much older. Congratulations for your thirty years together.

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  7. Gorgeous sentiments here! And sometimes I'm overcome with adoration and love for my husband. It's funny how it just comes over you isn't it? :)

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    1. Yes, it is what makes you understand you are doing the right thing.

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  8. Aw, this post is so heartwarming. I've been with my boyfriend for seven years and still get that heartstopping feeling of love that washes over you at random moments. It's not always glamorous or romantic or worthy of the movies, but nothing beats being with the person you love.

    Gorgeous little muffins too - am surprised you had any left to photo, they would get gobbled up very quickly in our house! :-)

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    1. I adore love stories and romantic comedies, but unfortunately they do tend to give a distorted view of what a relationship is. It is not always romantic and amazing but it doesn't mean it isn't good, right?
      The corn muffins just lasted long enough.

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  9. Golly you write beautifully. Can only hope that further down the track I feel exactly the same way.

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  10. That is a real compliment from a wonderful writer. Thank you

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  11. I loved reading this post.
    I used to get easily bored by men (oh god, it's awful to say this but it's the truth) until I met my husband.
    After years I still wake up furiously happy to have him beside me.
    Well, you wrote that better :)

    La Zia che sospira.

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    1. I think you expressed that extremely well. He is lucky to have you!

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  12. What a great post. Glad to hear you still have a great marriage after all those years. I get frustrated with my husband at times but I wouldn't trade him in! Your muffins look delicious and it's no wonder they disappeared fast xx

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    1. We all get frustrated with them, and they with us. Often. That is why getting that feeling of love is always wonderful.

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  13. Wow this is a great post. I came across your blog and just loved it. Your muffin looks delicious!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Nina, thanks. Good to meet you and opening your blog as I write.

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