Sometimes sounds take me by surprise. A scent may waft by to pick up my thoughts and transport them elsewhere, but sound lands me right back square in the present.
The boom and fizzle of fireworks yesterday. The quiet whir of fan blades spinning overhead right now. A soft rustle of leaves and the chirp of crickets and cicadas. A baby’s laughter and Harley’s rumbling past on the road.
Those are good sounds. Other sounds I loathe. Let’s call those noise. The motorized backpacks landscapers wear to blow leaves all about the lawn rank right up there. The clang and bang the garbage truck makes when it shakes the dumpster a half-dozen times at 5 a.m.
I like to hear church bells ringing and the sharp ting of a steel drum. The smack of a hockey puck against a stick before it dings off the cross bar (so close!). The pop of a champagne cork and the crack of my spoon against the burnt sugar crust of a crème brûlée.
And then there is taste. Berries and peaches and tomatoes and sweet corn and everything good about summer is either happening now or about too. I took one of my favorites – peaches – and baked them into a spiced muffin batter.
You can substitute plums or chopped cherries now, or add pears or apples in the fall. Swap out the ginger with cinnamon or use a bit of both. These are your muffins, so do whatever sounds good to you. Enjoy!
Ginger Peach Muffins
- 1 egg
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup plus two tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped and unpeeled peaches (from 1-2 large to medium peaches)
- optional: coarse sugar and crystallized ginger
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, melted butter, sugar, and buttermilk. Make sure the butter is slightly cooled; it will cook the egg if it is piping hot.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, ground ginger, and salt.
- Pour the wet ingredients from the medium bowl into the dry ingredients in the large bowl and stir until almost, but not fully combined. There should be bits of unincorporated flour still visible.
- Add the peaches into the batter and fold the batter to incorporate the fruit and fully mix the batter.
- Scoop the batter into the wells of a paper-lined muffin tin. There should be enough batter to fill the wells 3/4 of the way full.
- Sprinkle with coarse sugar (like Sugar in the Raw) or press a few bits of chopped crystallized ginger into the tops.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-30 minutes until the tops are golden brown and firm to the touch.
The muffins will keep frozen in a well-sealed freezer bag for up to one month.