Tuesday, November 3, 2009

guests and recipes

My mother is coming.

This is a big deal. It's a hard thing to convince her to visit me and for good reason. Driving through New York can make normally even-keeled people fear for their lives. And once she arrives, she either sleeps on the couch or cuddled up with Andrew in his toddler bed. We are presently without coffee maker and are still very much in possession of two lovable but quite rambunctious children. An invitation to visit me makes most people frantically scan their date books hoping for a good excuse not to come. And, unfortunately, my mother could not find one.

My mother's impending visit has put me in cleaning mode. My mother puts June Cleaver to shame in her housekeeping skills. Everything is always immaculate. And one of the many genetic gifts that my mother passed on to me was an obsession for clean.

I've been vacuuming under beds, rescuing toys from under the couch and scrubbing month old puddles of hardened chocolate sauce from the shelf in the refrigerator. The pots and pans are nicely stacked, the toothpaste is standing up straight in the cabinet and the boogers from Andrew's last illness have been removed from the couch.

Now, let me be clear. My mother has never once arrived in white gloves to inspect my apartment. And she would be a-ok with a colony of dust bunnies under the bed and renegade toys under the couch. But, it would drive me nuts. And so, I clean.

Give me a few more hours, Mom and this place will shine.

And...a recipe:
Pumpkin Praline Muffins

3 T brown sugar
1 T sour cream
1/3 cup chopped pecans
2 c flour
2 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t baking soda
1/8 t ground cloves
1 egg
3/4 c buttermilk
3/4 c pumpkin
2/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c butter, melted

Mix together brown sugar, sour cream and pecans. Set aside.

Mix together egg, milk, pumpkin, brown sugar and butter. Mix in flour, powder, spices, and soda.

Fill a sprayed muffin tin with batter. Top with pecan mixture. Bake for 20 minutes at 400.

For the pumpkin, you can of course used canned pumpkin. I had a pie pumpkin kicking around, so I roasted that for 45 minutes, scooped out the flesh and pureed it. So yummy.

And I made my muffins in a mini muffin tray, so I baked them for less time.



Joanna said...

you've made me laugh :) i can sympathize with the mad cleaning spree when you know someone is coming to vist :)

Sian said...

The muffins look delicious! Very enticing photographs

PaperTurtle said...

Ah, yes. The visit from Mom. Mine is coming for Thanksgiving and I'll be going through the same routine that you are now.

Thanks for the muffin recipe -- it sounds YUMMY and I'm gonna' make some. I even have a mini-muffin pan from Pampered Chef that I've never used. It's time!

Mama V said...

I so know what you mean! My mom is not a neat-freak but when she (or my mother-in-law) visit, the apartment gets the most attention -- more than parties or gatherings. What's that about?! I hope Miss Vicki has a great visit!

And I'm not sure about you, but each time I bake a pumpkin for using in recipes it tastes exactly like canned pumpkin. (To me that's a good thing when I want my favorite pumpkin cookies to taste a certain way!) How is that possible?!

scrappyjacky said...

Sadly I'm not a cleaning fan...but certainly a visit from my mum would always send me into 'clean' mode....in fact it's a good thing we have fairly frequent visitors...so my house gets a damn good clean pretty regularly.Your muffin recipe sounds gorgeous...love all the photos.

Carole said...

I could just eat one of those muffins just now. They look yummy!

I understand the cleaning thing too. The slightest speck of dirt just seems so obvious when you're expecting visitors.

elinjanne said...

Cleaning does nothing for me :)
The muffins on the other hand looks delicious!

Ruth said...

We all do it, when our mums come to visit! Brave mum to drive in NYC, that's all I can say.

Sharyn said...

Ahhhh, I know the feeling! Scrubbing and cleaning to impress the parents! The recipe sounds absolutely fantastic; I will be giving it a try!