While reading the book, I'm particularly struck by the depth with which she knows her students, by her ability to recognize their small successes as evidence of deeper growth and understanding. She celebrates children who begin the year drawing house after house in writing, and who slowly start to see that they can use their pictures to tell stories.
Recently, Julie's class hit mid-winter, and while the doldrums set in, the students also began to take more initiative and sustain inquiries in ways they were not yet capable of in early fall. They worked for days on single block projects. They found the materials they needed and started composing their own books. They worked with purpose and enthusiasm.
When I started this blog, most of my recipes read adapted (slightly) or taken from. I felt most at home following recipes, enjoyed the process of replicating something and having it turn out just the way I intended.
Somewhere along the process, though, I started taking more chances. They were small at first. I used dark brown sugar instead of light brown to create my own version of Joy the Baker's oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I added berbere to these Robert Linxe truffles so they better fit the theme of my meal. I realized I loved the taste of browned butter (where had it been all my life?), and I started working it into everything I did, like this strawberry-rhubarb crisp.
I'm enjoying the exploration, the time to play freely in my kitchen without the stress about whether what I create will turn out, but with a wealth of prior experiences with ingredients to draw on. Like Diamond's kindergartners, I can't wait to see where this journey takes me.
Today I'm linking up with Di's Kitchen Notebook for a special Citrus event! Visit Di's blog to view all the different citrus recipes being blogged about today!
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
recipe adapted from Annie Eats and Joy the Baker
This recipe yields 12 muffins. They freeze well. I love these warmed up a bit in the microwave or toaster oven and then lightly buttered.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 large eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup yogurt
1/4 cup whole milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with muffin liners.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine.
In a medium bowl, beat together the butter, granulated sugar and light brown sugar until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Mix in the lemon zest and lemon juice.
With the mixer on low speed, mix in the 1/2 of the dry ingredients. Then, mix in 1/2 of the yogurt and milk mixture. Repeat, mixing in the remaining dry ingredients and yogurt/milk. Beat until just incorporated.
Divide the batter between the 12 muffin liners, filling each about two-thirds of the way full. Bake the muffins for 15 to 18 minutes, until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out dry. Cool in the pan for five minutes, and then cool completely on a wire rack.