Happy weekend! Tip #28 includes two elements of self-care – NOURISH and REJUVENATE. Tie your apron strings and get ready for a baking adventure!
Simple daily acts when done with awareness and appreciation are sacred moments of meditation. They nourish and rejuvenate the body, mind, and soul.
Buddhist and Christian monks have been doing such mindfulness practices for hundreds of years. Buddhist monks tend rice fields; Christian monks and nuns tend grape fields. All part of their meditation practice. I know many artists who when hitting a creative block, will drop their paintbrush or pen, and head to the kitchen to bake muffins or cookies.
I LOVE baking. I grew up in a rural town in Southwest Michigan where 4-H was the primary social scene for young kids. I took my first baking class from Mrs. Westerbeke when I was 9 years old and learned to bake cookies, muffins, and bread.
One of my favorite muffin recipes is from The Moosewood Restaurant cookbook. I’ve baked these muffins since 1998, much to the delight of my family, houseguests, and neighbors. They are super easy to make. I’ve modified the recipe a bit in order to add spices and make them gluten free. (To make them both GF and vegan, use EnerG egg replacer). Here’s the recipe:
1 ¾ cups rice flour (I use Trader Joes brand)
2 ½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
Dash of cardamom
¾ cup almond or rice milk
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup sugar + 2 more tablespoons
1 cup blueberries (fresh when it’s summer)
Preheat oven to 400. Oil a 12-cup muffin tin. In a medium bowl thoroughly mix dry ingredients. In smaller bowl, lightly beat the egg with milk, vanilla, oil, and sugar, then add to dry ingredients. Add blueberries. Stir until batter is just barely mixed. Spoon batter into muffin tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Another reason I love baking is it connects me to happy memories with loved ones. The apron in the photo was from my Great Aunt Ruth. She was known for her sugar cookies. I have her recipe, handwritten by her, and it’s the only sugar cookie recipe I’ve ever used. The wooden rolling pin was my Great Grandma Kane’s. Between her, my Nana, my mom, and me, there must be thousand of cookies baked with love and shared with family and friends.
And this is another reason baking is a nourishing and rejuvenating act of self-care. Baking connects us to loved ones.
Today’s Self-Care Adventure: Bake muffins this weekend. Not the ‘baker from scratch’ type? Then, get a box of pre-made muffin mix from the store. Or for real easy-peasy baked goodness, patron a local bakery. Thank the muffin man and generously tip the baker.