Disclaimer: for the next five minutes, I fully intend to complain, unapologetically, about the weather. And the weatherman. And the South. So if you’re one of those people who just can’t stand to see one more comment about the snow or the cold or just nature in general, please feel free to tune out until we get to the part about muffins. Look at the pretty pictures, save (and share!) the recipe, whip up a dozen for yourself, and enjoy your own little slice of muffin heaven in peace.
For the rest of you who feel like commiserating with me on this miserably cold day, read on.
Normally, I’m not one to complain about the weather, especially in the winter. Probably because we’ve lived in the South for the past five years. And I now have a very loose and possibly inaccurate definition of “winter.”
But this is getting a little ridiculous.
We’re supposed to get 8-10 inches of snow by midnight tonight. 8-10 inches. Of snow. In North Carolina.
It’s just past noon here, and so far, not a single snowflake.
But has that stopped this state from shutting down entirely? Nope. Not a chance. Everything is closed. Schools. Businesses. Roads. The entire Marine Corps base. Even the gym is closed.
We’ve lived in the South for the past five years. And, for the most part, I’ve happily adopted the Southern culture and mindset. But today, my inner Ohioan is outraged. Today, I’m an indignant, displaced Northerner. Because this is just ridiculous.
I grew up in Ohio and went to college in Western Pennsylvania. Trust me when I say that I know about snow. In my four years of college in the North, we had one snow day. In four years. Life did not stop for snow. We donned our winter gear, shoveled our cars out of the parking lot, scraped the ice off of the windshield, and went to work like every other normal human being in the North. Every day.
And yet, here I am in Coastal North Carolina, sitting in my house, just waiting for the impending snow storm. Because everything is closed for the next two days. Not because there is snow outside. No. Because there is supposed to be snow at some point over the next two days.
I’m just baffled.
I realize that I’m completely unprepared if it does, in fact, snow here today. I’m pretty sure we don’t own a snow shovel. Or snow boots. I haven’t been bottling water in case our pipes freeze. And I definitely didn’t stockpile a month’s supply of food. But I’m fully stocked up on wine and chocolate, so our odds of weathering the storm are pretty good.
While the rest of North Carolina braces for impact, I’m hanging out at home with my little guy and baking muffins. Banana, chocolate, and coconut muffins. Because I can’t think of a better way to add a little sunshine to this dreary Southern “snow day” than by baking tropical treats.
To my Northern friends: I apologize for my state of residence today. I know that you guys have been enduring an endless cycle of snow and below-freezing temperatures for months now. You have full license to mock us relentlessly today. We’ve clearly earned every moment of it.
To my Southern friends: I apologize for not being more “Southern” about the impending snow crisis. I get that this is a big deal to you. But I just can’t take you seriously today. I guess there is still a place in my heart for the North after all.
Banana, Chocolate, & Coconut Muffins
Recipe courtesy of Technicolor Kitchen
Active time: 15 minutes
Start to finish: 30 minutes
Makes 1 dozen muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup caster sugar
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
½ cup dark chocolate chips
½ cup + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400°F; butter a 12-hole muffin pan.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in the sugar, coconut and chocolate chips.
In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, bananas, eggs and vanilla. Pour over the dry ingredients and whisk lightly with a fork – do not overmix the batter; otherwise, you’ll end up with tough muffins.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes or until risen and golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.
Cool slightly in the pan, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.