I looked out the window this morning and marveled at the way the sun created sparks from the soft snowflakes slowly drifting down. Although there was snow, the brightness was encouraging me to feel a bit of spring. I checked the timer and noticed I had a few more minutes to wait for the muffins baking in the oven close by. I rested my elbows on the counter and peered out of the window to watch.
My mind drifted back to last summer’s blueberry picking excursion with my daughter and I thought how pleased she would be when she woke up to find the muffins. Home from college for the weekend she marathon eats, partly because I attempt to make her favorite meals whenever she is home and mostly because she barely tolerates the cafeteria offerings at school. When I asked her if her friends dislike like the food as much as does, her answer was, “Mom, if you didn’t grow up with good cooking, you don’t know what you’re missing.”
The sweet aroma of cinnamon and blueberries began to fill the kitchen and I leaned down to open the oven door. The sugary tops were still a bit soft. I checked the timer, about five minutes left. I softly shut the oven door and returned to my thoughts.
The two of us have picked blueberries every summer since she was about two years old. I remember her carrying a tiny bucket from her beach toy set and how she carefully pulled the berries between her pudgy little fingers, dropping them in, one at a time. I smiled to myself calling to memory a photo I have of her mouth stained blue, holding the little bucket up high in her hands for the camera. I remember later on that evening at bath time, I went to take off her blueberry stained overalls and little blueberries came tumbling out of the pockets.
The timer went off and I reached in and pulled out the steaming pan. I set the muffins down to cool and thought how it wouldn’t be long before the smell snuck up stairs to wake her. When we finally sat down to enjoy the muffins, I would remind her of how last summer we raced to fill our buckets so we could get back to the lake for a swim. It was one of those summers where the berries filled the bushes like bunches of grapes and they were so easy to pick, you just couldn’t bear to stop. Well, at least I couldn’t resist those branches bursting with fruit. It was my daughter who reminded me we wouldn’t never be able to eat them all. But a freezer full of blueberries to use all winter was inspiration to fill our buckets to overflowing.
I heard the kitchen door handle turn and looked up to see her enter. “I thought I smelled muffins, and I was right!” she offered happily.