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Tuesday
May152012

Rhubarb Ginger Muffins

Rhubarb Ginger Muffins Rhubarb Ginger Muffins

This past weekend was spent packing up my belongings. Taking clothing out of the closet, folding it in baskets, and dearly hoping that it doesn't wrinkle. Pulling the baking supplies off the shelves, wrapping them in layers of paper towels and coffee filters, and placing them in boxes marked with the word glass in thick black marker. I wondered what's important enough to bring along or trivial enough to leave behind. I wondered if I've chosen correctly. It's strange to see my life packed up into cardboard boxes (and stranger still to see them fit neatly into the back of my car).

It's moving day.

Rhubarb Ginger Muffins

Moving has always been such a bittersweet process for me. It's one of life's true adventures. New cities, new countries, new stories, and new friends are all out there, waiting to be discovered. The thought is exhilarating enough for the butterflies to awaken and whirl and twirl around my stomach. I'm attracted to the idea of moving, of cutting ties and embracing something fresh with open arms. The spirit of moving is looking the unknown in the eye, shaking his hand, and greeting him with a hello.

By the same token, moving is hard. I don't want to have to say goodbye to the place I call home, to the city I've grown familiar with, or to the people I love. Though I wish all my goodbyes could be see you later's, the truth is that sometimes they aren't. People or places get left behind; they fade away into oblivion, into memories, despite best efforts to clutch tightly onto them. I've moved a dozen times in the last five years. I've left so many things behind.

Rhubarb Ginger Muffins

This time I haven't moved very far—only half a state and three hours away. For the first time in my life, I'm living alone. My belongings are unpacked, finding refuge in closets and cupboards. I feel optimistic. My adventure no longer sits on the horizon, to be gazed at with all the longing emotion of a fading sun. It's here and now. It's today.

As I sit here on this new-to-me couch, with my feet propped up on a borrowed coffee table, I wonder how long it will take for this new place to become home.

Rhubarb Ginger Muffins

These Rhubarb Ginger Muffins were a whim on a Tuesday afternoon. Whole wheat ginger muffins meet a wonderfully tart rhubarb and lemon jam, blending bold flavors seamlessly. Just before baking, the muffin batter is topped with a spoonful of jam. Due to the weight, the jam falls directly into the center of the muffin while baking, making these muffins self-filling and giving them an unique appearance. I was surprised by how taken I was with these muffins; they easily fall into my nearest and dearest favorites.

One Year Ago: Pina Colada Cupcakes

Rhubarb Ginger Muffins

Yields 10-12 muffins

Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
6-7 medium stalks rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease a muffin tin or line with baking cups.

In a small saucepan, combine lemon juice, 1/2 cup sugar, and rhubarb pieces. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until the rhubarb forms a thick jam, about 8-12 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. This should yield around 1/2 cup jam.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Add the egg and continue beating. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually add the ground ginger, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the flour and milk.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full of batter. Using a spoon, make a slight depression in the center of the batter. Place a tablespoon of the rhubarb jam into the depression (the jam will fill the center of the cupcakes as they bake). Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean.

Reader Comments (9)

I just happen to have 2 pounds of rhubarb in the fridge that I picked yesterday at our allotment - now they'll probably end up as muffins. All the best of luck in your new home!
05.16.2012 | Unregistered Commentervera@growntocook
I understand perfectly your feelings, I felt the same when I left a town that stole my heart, and again as I was living my home country for London. This will not be the last move, I know it already. I will move oversee in the next months, I still don't know when. I have the same feeling for movings --seeing my life fitting in a car. I leave some many things, so many people behind, I re-buy the things but I miss the people. I know that life.lasting friendships aren't affected by distance, but it is still hard. Yet, I know it is my choice, I know I wouldn't do it unless I wanted to, I know I do it because in the end, I love adventures and opportunities and that feeling of unknown. Last time, right before moving, I made a banana bread with all the leftover seeds and nuts I had in my pantry. Banana bread is the ultimate comort food for me, and immediately makes me feel at home. I baked the first one here in London I few days ago, and it really meant something to me for some reason. Filling the house with the scent of baked banana bread makes it more familiar in a way. One good thing about moving is discovering new foods and ingredients to cook with. One of these is rhubarb --not much in Italy but a lot here in the UK. I recently made my first rhubarb crumble, and I know what to make next. These muffins look great. Thank you for sharing this recipe, and my best wishes for your new adventure.
05.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterValeria
I absolutely love jam-filled muffins! I still haven't tried rhubarb yet but it's on my bucket list.

I hope your move goes smoothly. It's always a pain to move but in the end, once everything gets situated, there's no place like home.
Well, you have a delicious muffin to start the day with! Moving is always so hard, but it's a great chance to start over!
THese look perfect!
Ahhh! Your pictures are always so beautiful. I love the quotes you have with each recipe as well. I've pinned so many on Pinterest it's not funny.

But these muffins look amazing. I've been wanting to do something with rhubarb for a while now and I really like the idea of pairing it with ginger! Definitely need to give these a try.
05.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPauilne
Wait - you left? I'm sad! I don't even know you and I'm sad. But good luck!
05.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKtP
These look great! I am obsessed with rhubarb, I like to make a compote with orange/lemon zest and a bit of sugar. It tastes marvelous with yogurt as a quick snack. Love how tart it is.

Good luck with the move!! We need to catch up :)
Good luck on your new adventure!!
05.17.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa Klotz

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