HAPPY ENDINGS IN THE KITCHEN: Episode 19 – Ricotta and Blueberry Muffins

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The Elephant in the Room

Are you suffering from dating exhaustion?  Tired of swiping right to disappointment?  Kissed too many amphibians in princely clothing?

Well then there was Mr Wheezy.

Yes, Mr Wheezy.  I was fresh out of university and in my first year of working as a nurse.  It had been a shock to the system.  10:30 pm clock-offs and 7 am starts.  Collecting mucus specimens, and inspecting prolapsed orifices.  I survived on coffee, bed-time port and an essential warped sense of humour.  And my newly acquired sisters.  All of us living the crazy life together.  So every now and then we needed to cut loose, and if anyone knows how to have a good time it’s an apron of nurses.  No, a better collective is required.  A hoot of nurses. 

On one particular summer’s night we gathered at a local Latin themed bar to drink our cares away.  We were a howling clutch of hens, under-slept and overstimulated, impregnated with alcohol, gossip, and mutual affection.  And as we relaxed into our second or fifth beverage a rather handsome couple of young men innocently wandered past. And so we heckled them into flirtatious conversation.  One rooster in particular caught my eye.  It was Mr Wheezy.  He was slight yet appealingly athletic, a trained gymnast with startlingly blue eyes, and a smile that would begin shyly at the corners of his mouth and spread slowly across a beautifully chiselled countenance.  Note: Even though he was well and truly legal he was a generation gap younger than my 31 year old self, so I attempted to quieten my hormones.  But as I gawked shamelessly our eyes met and a virtual message was exchanged.  We were swiping right in the flesh.  My temperature was rising.  Mr Wheezy and his friend retreated slowly, perhaps overcome by such a resplendent rabble of nightingales.  As I watched my new crush slip away into the peopled street I gushed uncontrollably.  I desperately wanted to kiss those slowly spreading lips.  And so my gang of sisters urged me to catch him up and lock lips.  Injected with a large dose of lust, emboldened by sangria and with very own cheering squad roaring, I tipsily pursued.  And upon reaching him I breathily expressed my desires.  Mr Wheezy consented.  There in the unflattering fluorescent street light with an audience of rowdy unknown restaurant goers, he kissed me.  And he kissed well.  His hand cupped my face and pulled me in closer.  I was gone.  Lost in the moment.  High on the ecstasy of the risk worth taking.  We exchanged phone numbers and I danced the air back to my now shrieking brood of nursies.

And so, it was seduction via sangria.  Within a few minutes the first text message was received.  And as my bevy and I danced into the night the message relay gained momentum and temperatures continued to rise.  I had to kiss those lips again.  It was as though the sangria had possessed me.  I had become ravenous for his gymnastical  body.  A crazed, horny, slightly stupido senorita.  Si.  So when I received a message  saying that he was exhausted and heading home, and that I was welcome to join him, I couldn’t contain my drunken libido.  Farewelling my knot of nurses I tumbled into the back of a taxi and headed to the address that Mr Wheezy had so kindly forwarded.  I was overflowing with happy excited excretions, my blood vessels dilating, my body lighting up like a pin ball machine.  I had visions of him lying naked across his bed while I sponged him into a state of delirious intoxication. 

When I arrived at his address I was surprised to discover a very dark and rather uninviting house.  I clumsily removed my hot and sticky self from the taxi and nervously sent a message to my host.  A screen door creaked and I saw the outline of my beckoning orgasm maker.  The symphony in my body returned with even more passion and I plunged into the darkness after him.  As I followed him he motioned for me to stay quiet.  “My parents are sleeping” he whispered.   My hormones screamed silently.  I ignored them.  He led me to his room where one candle glistened provocatively.  We fell onto his bed and started rocking and rolling and dipping and crashing….it was a water bed.  This time my stomach protested.  I ignored once more.  As the waves swelled our bodies paralleled the transformation, opening up to each other, ready to discover the ocean within.  But as I whispered in my not altogether stupid Sangria bitten state “Do you have a condom?” and he replied with the negative his ship was refused entry to port.  The thrashing waves lulled almost immediately into a disappointing ripple.  Mr Wheezy hadn’t thought ahead and neither had I.  This certainly did seem unfortunate.  A few frustrated caresses were exchanged as the weight of our alcohol induced exhaustion settled over our unsatiated bodies.  He blew out the lonely candle, whispered goodnight, kissed my lips once more and a hush entered the room.  There was a quiet pause.  But as my eyelids drooped I was suddenly interrupted by the most resonant and industrial snore I had every heard.  As it continued I gently nudged Mr Wheezy.  This only prompted the snore to become an incredibly high pitched wheeze, only to then transform into a whistle, then a rasp, a grunt, a snuffle, followed by a periodic stretch of teasing silence.  And then repeat.  What a disaster.  My fantasy had become an apnoeic nightmare.  I felt my nursing conscience tempted to wake and educate Mr Wheezy on his need for a sleep review but self preservation at this point was paramount.  I hatched a plan to escape the bellowing blackness.  A taxi would be my saviour.  But as I reached for my phone I discovered that it had like me also run dry.   

I lay there bobbing and pitching, an insomnolent island, as the remaining hours passed.  At the first kiss of the sun’s rays I roused Mr. Wheezy from his thunderous slumber.  As he dialed for a taxi I heard the creak of trodden floorboards.  Apparently the nightmare wasn’t yet over.  Bleary eyed and probably smelling like a moulding vineyard I accompanied my failed fantasy to the front door, only to be intercepted by his mother.  If ever there was a moment to define awkward.  I could feel her gaze burning through me, assessing my hungover, cradle-snatching self.  After a quick introduction I followed my toes to the front door and freedom.  As I gulped down the cool morning oxygen I vowed never to touch sangria again.

I sometimes think of Mr Wheezy and wonder if he still spends the night on a construction site in the middle of a raging ocean.  I hope for his sake that he is safely strapped to a CPAP machine atop a latex mattress.  Reliving this hot summer flunk has left me feeling dehydrated and low in blood sugar.  So enough tossing, heaving, hurling, deoxidising, rumbling, and wheezing!  Time to make a hangover fix.  And after that a nap on my very comfortable bed in my own peaceful house.

Blueberry and Ricotta Muffins
 

Ingredients:
Blueberry Muffins
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose or wholemeal flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup ricotta, preferaby freshly made, at room temperature
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of one lemon
  • 125 g unsalted butter, melted 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Crumb Topping

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose or wholemeal flour
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3-4 tbsp soft unsalted butter
Instructions:

Bring the eggs and ricotta to room temperature.  Melt the butter and set aside.  Combine all the topping ingredients.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.  Grease a muffin pan with butter.

Mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl.  In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla, and then the butter.  Add the dry ingredients and the blueberries to the wet ingredients and fold them through gently without over working.

Divide the batter into the muffin wells and then top each with the crumble topping.

Bake for 5 minutes at 200 degrees Celcius and then lower the heat to 180C for another 10 to 13 minutes. The muffins should  be golden on top and a knife that goes in and comes out cleanly.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out on a rack.

 Oh my happy days.  The crumble and blueberries are playing a symphony on my tastebuds.  These disappeared before I could even think about taking a photo of one escaping into my cakehole.  No disappointments here.  Just orgasmic flavour.  Yes, yes, yes!

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HAPPY ENDINGS IN THE KITCHEN EPISODE 18 : DARK CHOCOLATE & RASPBERRY BROWNIES

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Some day my Prince will cum

Are you suffering from dating exhaustion? Tired of swiping right to disappointment? Kissed too many amphibians in princely clothing? 

Well then there was PorntobeAlive.

Yes, PorntobeAlive.  It was back in the day.  Back in the day when mobile phones were the size of a small dog and the internet was not yet a thing.  Back when happy pants and MC Hammer were a hot combination.  When I believed in the archetypal love of Juliet and Romeo, and Cinderella and her Prince Charming.  I believed with no shred of doubt in the existence of unicorns.  I was fresh out of a strict Christian upbringing, where “friggin’” was regarded a swear word and Harry Potter was the spawn of Satan.  A virgin to almost everything.  While all the cool kids were watching Star Wars and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I was watching Anne of Green Gables, attending progressive dinners, and learning bible verses.

But all of that changed when my first year of university and first taste of alcohol coincided. For a fledgling singing student who sang Kumbayah for her entry audition, I very quickly became acquainted with a world I had never known.   A combination of new friends, ideas, expressions, beliefs, tastes, sounds, and feelings had me in a heady spin.  I was in love with life.  Completely born again.  Baptised by the arts.

By my second year of university my eyes were well and truly open, my skin shed, awakened from my slumber.  And there in the second row of my first class awaited my Prince Charming, PorntobeAlive.  He was dashingly handsome, confident and self-assured, and wickedly humorous.  A 6 foot 6 footballer turned operatic baritone with an affinity for puffing the magic dragon and knocking back bottles of whisky, he was the life of the party I had never been to.  And within weeks the party had truly started and it was wild.  And I had never experienced wild.  Long nights out with even longer mornings in.  We just lived and breathed each other.  Our long limbs entangled in a new and intoxicating language.  It was the closest I’d ever come to tasting rainbows.  Perfect harmony.

And so, it was true love. 

And it was the first true love.  The first in every sense.  I’d never “been” with a man or exposed my privates to anyone.  So for all I knew Porntobealive was a god in the bedroom with the sex drive of a flipping dolphin.  The truth was that we would roll around for approximately 20 minutes in a charged and increasingly excited state, after which he would spend about 2 to 3 minutes poking around with his love tool, and then, and then, and then…..…well that was it.  And I didn’t know any better.  At that stage I was indifferent to the existence of the clitoris.  All I knew was that he made me feel warm and fuzzy in my lady bits and I ignorantly thought that was enough.  Ha!

So within months we were living together.  Life became a little more subdued as we worked, studied, and discovered the more mundane things.  Friday night football on the box tv as he gesticulated wildly and I stared blankly at the tiny shorts running after the funny shaped ball.  Videos hired from the corner shop and ordered in barbecue chicken pizza.  It was our little heaven in a two and a half room cream brick.

On one particularly lazy evening PorntobeAlive was watching an episode of ‘The Footy Show’ whilst I picked at my toenails and extracted fluff from my belly button.  One of the featured stories was an interview with a female porn star promoting her latest Penthouse centrefold.  My inner church girl recoiled at the sight of her wasp stung lips and flotation device breasts.  I knew nothing of this culture.  PorntobeAlive also showed obvious disdain, declaring her “a turn off”, amongst other less eloquent things.  So imagine my surprise when I came upon a freshly purchased Penthouse hidden not so inconspicuously amongst a pile of sheet music.  And there was “turn off” lounging also not so inconspicuously across the centrefold in all her plastic glory.  Well I never.  Seriously, never.  All of that skin.  All of that bursting breast.  All of that hairlessness.  All of those neat and tidily nipped lady bits.  Sex and flesh slapping me rudely and unashamedly across the face.  I was shocked, repulsed, yet strangely curious.  This was another new world that I had stepped into.   Was this the kind of woman PorntobeAlive favoured?   Were vaginas supposed to look like that?  Should I book in a XXX wax asap?  Could I tuck my flaps in to make my vagina look like that?   So many questions.  So many insecurities.

When questioned regarding said Penthouse PorntobeAlive simply stated that he had bought the magazine out of curiosity.  In fact he hadn’t even looked through it and was surprised as to how it even ended up fraternising with his collection of Schubert art songs.  (Said Penthouse was in far superior company.)  According to him I was foolish and untrusting to suggest that he would be interested in such a thing.  Somehow I was at fault.  I mean I should have just been happy with my 2 to 3 minutes of penetration and zero climax, right??

Holding tightly onto my slippery Cinderella story I attempted a return to normality but a number of events that followed saw my palace come crashing down.  Firstly, on return from a weekend choir practice I discovered a wad of semen soaked tissues lying like a little gift atop my dresser.  How delightfully thoughtful.  Clearly PorntobeAlive had been thinking of me.  Hmmm.  That same day during a cleaning frenzy brought on by his little gift I noticed a number of dirty fingerprints on the wall leading to more dirty marks at the manhole.  Peekaboo.  My heart racing, my insecurities compounding, I made a dangerous ladder out of unsteady furniture and poked my head through with pocket torch in hand.  There!  In the dusty corner lay a guilty pile of magazines.  I precariously made my way up and grabbed the dirty hoard.  And after making it down with my neck intact and my dignity shattered, I perused the not so freshly purchased pages and reeled at the images of nude ladies in countless compromising positions.  So many exposed orifices, so little decency.  And as I tore through his mecca of quick fix pleasure, pink bits flying, I felt like I was choking on the growing silt cloud of our falling kingdom.

Well PorntobeAlive had some explaining to do.  And long story short, he admitted to his weakness for porn, begging for my forgiveness and promising to never use again.  In a state of bewildered and pathetic insecurity I stayed.  But true love had changed.  There were intruders in the bedroom.  Dozens of big bosomed women were amongst the bedsheets performing lewd acts whilst PorntobeAlive pointed his 2 minute tackle at them and sprayed forth like a hose to a fire.  At least that is what was happening in my mind.  Intimacy was dead.  The taste of rainbows gone.  And when I returned home one evening to discover the ceiling surrounding the manhole had caved in I realised I was in a battle that wasn’t worth fighting and was never to be won.  I abandoned the scene of the crime for a corner store chocolate fix.  As I was paying at the counter the owner mentioned that PorntobeAlive had a long overdue video that needed to be returned asap.  Upon asking him the title he looked up from the loans notebook with a smirk and uttered the unforgettable words “Debbie does Dallas: The Next Generation”.  As I consequently inhaled the chocolate I realised my prince had turned back into a frog, and felt a strange longing for a world of Anne of Green Gables and  Kumbayah.

Now these days I am a little more wise of the world and realise that porn is a very present theme in many people’s lives and I have no judgement of that.  I also have a much better understanding of a man’s penchant to fiddle with his fiddle.  But wouldn’t it save a lot of time and emotional wastage if people were upfront with their desires and sexual habits?  If PorntobeAlive had come clean about his need for 30 second intimate moments with naked paper ladies it would have for me.  But enough of this pencil pulling, seed spilling, smut hoarding, early ejaculating, clitoris failing, unicorn slaying, fantasy obliterating fool.  Time to put him and all of his demons to sleep for an eternity.  He shall be ‘Sleeping Ugly’.  In the meantime I will set to constructing a palace to dizzy my tastebuds and create a real and satisfying foodgasm.

 

Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Brownies


Ingredients:

300g Green and Black’s 70%  dark chocolate broken into pieces

250g salted butter

400g light brown sugar

4 large eggs

50 g cocoa flour

140 g plain flour

200g fresh or frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 20 x 30cm baking tray tin or line with baking parchment. Place the chocolate, sugar and butter in a saucepan over low heat, and stir through once melted. Remove from the heat.

Beat the eggs and slowly stir into the melted chocolate mixture once it’s cooled. Fold through the sieved flour and cocoa. Stir in half the raspberries, empty mixture into the baking tray, and then scatter the remaining raspberries across the top. Bake for 30 mins on the middle shelf until the edges are looking crunchy and the middle is still moist.  Cook a little longer if you prefer a brownie that is firmer than moist.  Allow to cool before cutting into slices.

OH GOD, OH YES, GIVE ME MORE.  These are so good that I’m tasting rainbows whilst  flying through the sky on the back of my very own unicorn.

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