We’re in Berlin and I feel like I’m growing my spirit back. I’m not sure how much of that growth is Berlin induced or because I can now think, hang out, walk around, bathe and cook, pretty much whenever I want. What I mean is, we’re on holidays! Ok, Mathew’s still working a little every day, but at a relaxed tempo. He’s less impatient, brighter, more present with Oliver.
And we’re surrounded by his friends again, friends that are part of Mathew’s spirit (although he’d never admit to having one). Of course, they’re my friends too… at least, I think of them that way. But their shared history is with Mathew. Their relationships go back decades, through all the manifestations long term friendships take: roommates, schoolmates, lovemates, partymates, and all their conjugations.
I have my own long termers, but they’re stationed all around the world now. I like them that way. Means we can visit exotic locations and catch up in that slow, deep way camping out in others’ lives allows.
Mathew and I were talking about these friendships the other night with a couple of his long termers. I was telling them that Mathew doesn’t think of this person or that person back in Brisbane as his ‘friend’. That sounded crazy to me. They hang out, he has fun with them, what else is missing? He doesn’t think they’d pass his ‘friend test’. What’s that? I asked. Well if you and I broke up, who would so and so still hang out with- you or me?
Ah. good test. Made me feel a little friendless over here in Berlin, but that’s ok. Maybe if I make enough food for Mathew’s long termers I’ll win over one or two.
These muffins would be a good start, and when I find a muffin tin, I’ll be sure to make a batch for Floyd, who’ll be my first target. He’s the one who makes that wonderful coconut cake I’ve been trying to replicate for a couple of years now. He won’t give me the recipe (because he’s a tease), but I’ll keep working on him all month long, plying him with food until he feels too guilty to keep teasing me like this.
Kim Boyce’s Corn and Gruyere Muffins
- 1 1/2 cups sliced green onions
- 2 tsp cumin seed
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (about 1/3 pound)
- 1 cup corn flour
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Preheat your oven to 350F and rub your muffin tin well with butter. If you have a large oven that can handle a 24 cup muffin tin (if you have a 24 cup muffin tin!), or, if you have two 12 cup tins then this is ideal, as it means you can space the muffins out and they will cook more evenly (a little Kim Boyce trick).
Trim and clean the green onions of any grit and brown bits and then slice the whole length of them into thin circles. Toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan over medium heat until you can smell them toasting, add the butter to the same pan and as soon as it foams, toss in the spring onions, coat them in the butter and saute them until they wilt. Season with salt and pepper and then scrape the onions and cumin seeds into a bowl to cool.
Sift the corn flour, pastry flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl, adding any bits remaining in the sieve to flour. stir to combine. Add the cooled onions and the grated cheese to the muffin mixture and stir to combine.
In a separate bowl, mix together the sour cream, eggs and melted butter with a whisk until well combined.
Make a well in the dry mixture and add all the wet mixture at once, folding the two together until just combined. Scoop the batter into 10 muffin tins (spacing them alternatively, if possible), filling each tin until it is slightly mounded.
Bake for 32-36 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown. Turn the trays once through the baking to make sure they cook evenly. When they’re done, let them rest for a couple of minutes and then twist them out of their tins, resting them sideways in the trays to cool.
The muffins taste best warm from the oven, or soon after. If you want, you can make the batter ahead of time and keep it refrigerated until you want to bake them. This will mean a little longer in the oven, but the muffins turn out great this way as well.
They also taste totally fabulous with Heidi Swanson’s Avocado Spread, but I’ll have to save that up for another friend push. See you soon. xx