Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thrift Shops, Muffins & Flow Charts

If you take a girl to Goodwill this is what she’ll do…
She’ll find some really fun treasures which she'll buy and take home with her.
And as she is cleaning the vintage batter bowl that she bought, she will be inspired to make some muffins.
So she’ll stir up some blueberry blossom muffin batter.
When making those muffins she’ll realize she has some leftover buttermilk, which will remind her to package and freeze that leftover milk for good keeping.
And upon opening the freezer, the cool wind will remind her of autumn,
Which will remind her of those moist pumpkin muffins that she loves so very much,
Which she will promptly bake, and all the while she'll be thinking of the tips
that she has learned along the way that have helped her muffins to improve over time. Thinking about these things will make her want to share them with all of her friends, which will inspire her to summon them all…. and chances are when she gathers her friends, she’s gonna want to take them to Goodwill for Half Price Saturday!

So. This is a silly story version of what has been going on in my mind for the past couple of weeks as one thing has led to another. I have been pondering how to post everything that I want to share with you. And a run to Goodwill was the impetus for it all!

I adore thrift shops, muffins and cooking tips, and I have so much I want to tell you… the question has been how do I ration this into a manageable post? (Since I don’t think people hang around a blog for more than a couple of minutes at a time). What was I to do? I had to talk it out and then draw it out.

And here is
the flow chart
I sketched of what
is in my mind.
I concluded that
I will post in
3 consecutive installments
the ideas and recipes I
want to share with you.
I hope you'll enjoy!

Post #1:
Some people are not into thrift shopping, but I, myself, would choose digging through a bin of house wares at Goodwill over strolling through the racks at a mall department store any day! I love studying things and wondering who the former owner was, what life an item had before hanging out on this shelf, curious about what its next life could be. Repurposing treasures is a creative, therapeutic and life giving pursuit.

A couple of weekends ago, I went to Goodwill and spent about $10 and took away some lovely treasures: a pretty cornflower blue mug,
a vintage printed juice glass,
a plate with a lovely border edge,
a white milk glass mixing bowl with a pour spout,
and a couple of cotton sheets- one maize yellow, the other blue.

I came home, washed them all and began to dream about where each treasure would go, if they were to be given as gifts or used in our home, and such. I wanted to try out that batter bowl A.S.A.P. so I stirred up some blueberry blossom muffins in it and brewed some good coffee to be drunk in my pretty blue mug. These items, and a beautiful sunny morning, made it feel like such a special day. My few dollars used to reclaim another person’s throw-aways brought energy and creativity to my home. I have put zinnias in the juice glass, served cookies on the bordered plate and I have a new blue mug for early morning coffee. (I know I don’t need another mug…but how can you go wrong with 49 cent happiness?)

The Blueberry Blossom Muffins are a variation of a Cooking Light magazine recipe I saved from a decade ago. I just recently rediscovered them. They are tasty and versatile.

2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 ¼ cups low fat buttermilk
¼ cup butter, melted
½ -1 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh
Grated rind of an orange
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Combine and make a well in the center of the mixture. Combine buttermilk and next 5 ingredients in a bowl; add to flour mixture. Stir just until moist. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with sugar (I like to use Turbinado Sugar). Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from pans; cool on a wire rack.


  1. I am LOVING your blog . . . and you made me want to go to Goodwill! :-)

  2. When can I come have breakfast with you?

  3. Oh Karin, come over! I will whip up some muffins, fruit and coffee...our favorites! love you!