Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 
by Robert Frost March 26, 1874-January 29, 1963
Robert Frost was an American poet who was highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. His work reflected the rural life of New England in the early twentieth century. He was a poet of traditional verse forms and metrics. He was skillful representing a wide range of human experiences in his poems. Frost received in his lifetime four Pulitzer Prizes for poetry. 
At the Inauguration of John F. Kennedy, January 1961, Frost (he was 86) recited "The Gift Outright" 
The land was ours before we were the land’s.
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people. She was ours
In Massachusetts, in Virginia,
But we were England’s, still colonials,
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
Something we were withholding made us weak
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
To the land vaguely realizing westward,
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
Such as she was, such as she would become.

Frost had planned to read another piece but the weather, wind and the glare of the sun prevented him from reading what he had written. He made a choice to recite "The Gift Outright" because he knew it by heart. 
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A Citrus Twist On An Old Favorite
Blueberry Muffins
Cook's notes: Having used many different blueberry muffin recipes over the years I have come to the conclusion the following are 3 baking tips that help create a really good blueberry muffin.
  • Use buttermilk
  • Stir batter only until moistened
  • Use small blueberries
This recipe Citrus-Topped Double Blueberry Muffins comes from BHG March 2013. It caught my attention with the words twist of a sprinkle of lemon-orange sugar to add some crunch on the top
The following recipe includes my adaptations. Next time I thought I'd try adding a sprinkle of toasted coconut on top of the batter with lemon/orange/sugar mixture. 
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 6 TB. melted butter
  • 1 cup blueberries (frozen blueberries works but they are large and take up a lot of the batter try using fresh blueberries that are more on small side)
  • 1/2 cup blueberry preserves
  • 2 TB. grated orange peel (use a microplane tool)
  • 2 TB. grated lemon peel (use a microplane tool)
  • 2 TB. coarse raw turbinado sugar (regular sugar can work too )

Directions:
  • Preheat oven @400
  • Line 12 muffin liners in muffin pan
  • In a bowl grate orange and lemon peel and add in 2TB. sugar-mix and spread out on a paper towel to dry out some while making rest of muffins
  • Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon in a large bowl
  • Make a well in center of flour mixture and set aside 
  • Whisk together in another bowl eggs, buttermilk and 6 TB melted butter
  • Add liquid mixture all at once to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened (batter will be lumpy)
  • Gently fold in blueberries and set aside one cup of the muffin batter 
  • Fill each muffin cup about half full-then add 1/2 tsp. blueberry preserve in center of each muffin-then top with the remaining batter
  • Sprinkle on top of each muffin the grated orange/lemon/sugar mixture
  • Bake @400 for 18-20 minutes
  • Cool on a wire rack
Microplane Zester


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