English Muffins

Story 1

Like an old family member I reminisce on your crunchy and mushy textures. Laying down small pads of butter to carefully indulge each nook and cranny. With my age I desire much more cinnamon in my cinnamon sugar mixture. Its woody dry flavor creates a perfect landing strip for the sugar crystals to dance on. I will sing you a lullaby that you may dance and sleep on my tongue. And then, I bite and all is well for the next minute or so.

Story 2

Evening has raced in and I am lost. Some mozzarella cheese and a few basil leaves lie in the fridge, a can of crushed tomatoes on the shelf, along with two cloves of garlic. When such beautiful elements meet, one may wish to “roll out the red carpet” for said elements. What type of home could I give these food icons? I have no bread. I have no dough. I have no naan. While rustling through the bread items that lie on top of the fridge, an awkward package falls to the ground. It’s two English muffins. Oddly, not maimed during their plummet from the top of the fridge, and ready to be perfect home for the delicious ingredients at my disposal.

“I,” I said with a Napolean-like confidence, “I am going to make English muffin pizzas.”

Story 3

Scroll, scroll, click, scroll, scroll, drag, drop. When Lewis and Clark set out on their adventure Google didn’t exist. They had to trust their instincts and rely on what they knew about the land. The year is 2014 and I do have Google. So why is it so damn hard to find the perfect recipe for English muffins. When you’ve been cooking for a while you can tell what will work and what won’t just by reading a recipe. It’s an eerie but useful skill to be armed with in the kitchen, and especially while doing recipe research: You have the basic concept in your mind and you’re just waiting for that recipe to pop up that encompasses your desires. Then, only five pages deep, you find it. “Homemade English Muffins.” Just nine simple ingredients that ‘look’ like they will produce exactly what I’m looking for. All of the ingredients I needed were already in my possession and my only obstacle was time. So I made some.

Carefully I followed each step of the recipe, making sure to keep myself aware that baking is a science. After a triple-rise, my circles of dough were ready for the griddle. Already at heat, I sprinkled a thin layer of cornmeal across the griddle and then carefully laid down the dough. You learn a lot about anything by engaging yourself in it. Whether that be its process, its details or some other oddball characteristic that gets your yawyaws out. It’s fun and it’s exciting and English muffins are not exempt from this joy. I learned that muffins are not baked in an oven. They are so dark in some areas and very pale in others because of the griddle cooking. The multi-rise process helped me get closer to the number of nooks and crannies I was looking for. Though there is definitely room for improvement.

I don’t know how you do it Thomas; you’re beautiful.

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