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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