Dressed in puffy blue coats and mismatched mittens, we ran up and down the length of the yard, shouting in delight, filling our lungs with the cool, clean mountain air. We made snowmen, we threw snowballs, we took sleds to the hills around the old neighborhood, and we sipped mugs of hot chocolate.
For two girls, who grew up in the unending warmth of Texas, March in Colorado was magical.
Fast-forward ten years, and I’m once again adjusting to a different climate. I’ve moved back to Texas, and I’ve traded my March snow days for warmth and sunshine. We’re already hitting eighty degrees in the afternoon, and I’m beginning to think that my wool sweaters are going to be packed away until next December. Just yesterday, I took a walk in a skirt and a short sleeve shirt, my arms already freckling from the exposure to the sun.
Even though I treasure my childhood memories of those first few winters in Colorado, I’m relieved to be back in a warmer climate. My body craves the pulsing heat of a hot afternoon, my legs long to stretch out uninhibited from the casing of corduroy or jean. The buds are flowering, the animals are mating, and with the absence of snow and arctic cold, I remember the pleasure of an early Spring.
For those of you who live in colder climates, there might be a few more weeks of chilly nights and days. But spring is coming. New life will burst forth again. Amidst all the tragedy that the world is currently facing, I find this cyclical truth to be a comfort. Winter can only last so long.
A moist pineapple cupcake is topped with a rich rum buttercream. A sprinkle of toasted coconut finishes the sweet off.
Imagine, if you can, a stretch of beach with a lawn chair near the water. The waves roll in and the seagulls swoop down to play with the vegetable life that has washed on shore. A book sits in your lap (I’m currently reading Freedom by J. Franzen), and you have a tropical drink in hand…a Pina colada with a pink umbrella. The day is slowly ending. Your cares are few and far between.
This cupcake is my culinary representation of such a landscape, of such an afternoon. So whether this March day is warm or cold, full of sunshine or snow, these cupcakes are a way to celebrate the coming days of summer.
*Yields 18-22 cupcakes
2 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
2 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup drained crushed pineapple
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line two standard muffins pans.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until well combined.
3. In a large bowl, using a mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add half of the flour mixture, stir, pour in buttermilk, stir, and then add the remaining flour. Fold in the crushed pineapple, and stir until just combined.
4. Distribute evenly in muffin tins, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for about 18-20 minutes. Remove to wire rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
2 sticks butter (room temperature)
3 cups powdered sugar
2 TBSP cream
1 tsp dark rum
1/2 tsp vanilla
1. Beat the butter with the powdered sugar and cream until light and fluffy. Stir in the dark rum and vanilla. Spread over cooled cupcakes and adorn with toasted coconut.
Anecdotes and Apple Cores