My eldest sister and I had a quick chat about muffins the other day. She mentioned that she liked cupcakes with frosting more than muffins and I told her that I wasn’t a muffin person as well. But despite my lack of passion for muffins, I still find myself being intrigued by the muffin method and the countless sweet and savory muffins I could possibly make and tweak! So, when we had quite a handful of overripe bananas last Sunday, I immediately thought of experimenting on a new Banana muffin recipe.
The recipe I used produced 15 regular-sized muffins. They didn’t taste bad, but they weren’t the best ones as well. The muffins had the right amount of sweetness and banana flavor, but I prefer them to be more fluffy, light, and moist. Generally speaking, they were “just okay” muffins and because of this, I was a bit disappointed.
Later that evening, we invited some of our relatives to our house to celebrate my eldest sister’s birthday. While my parents, uncle, and aunt were having their coffee after the dinner, my older sister suggested that we serve the muffins I baked that morning. At first, I hesitated to bring them out because they weren’t the best muffins I’ve had, but eventually, I agreed and hoped that somehow it wouldn’t be THAT bad. Haha.
As soon as my aunt (Tita Marie) ate one of the muffins, she went to me and gave a comment on the moistness of the muffin. She asked about the ingredients I used and then she said: “I know how to make it more moist and I can teach you.” My eyes lit up and I smiled as I continued to listen to her tips and suggestions. It was a humbling moment for me because I was very much aware of my weaknesses, but at the same time, I was privileged to have a tita (aunt) who naturally cooks and bakes delicious food and who was graciously willing to share her secret tips and recipes to me.
While she passionately shared some of the experiences she had in the kitchen, she mentioned something that I will never forget. She told me that she was able to read some of my blog posts before which gave her an idea to mentor me in the kitchen someday. She had an idea of teaching and helping me improve in my skills and knowledge when it comes to cooking and baking because she saw how much interested and passionate I was in these things. My tita and I don’t get to regularly talk and see each other, so these words from her were very heartwarming.
After the dinner party, I remember lying down on my bed with a heart that was pumped with excitement because my passion for cooking, baking, and food was revived. I felt like a plant being watered on a hot sunny day. It was very, very refreshing. Before I slept that night, I thanked God for what happened. Despite the discouragement I previously had with the “just okay” Banana muffins earlier that day, He reminded me to continue dreaming big, doing my best, and having hope in Him when it comes to the passions He has blessed me with.
Ptr. Peter Tan-Chi once said “When you look at people, don’t look at them where they are today, but look at how they can become through Christ in the future.”
I remembered this quote that night because I saw how my aunt didn’t give up on me or on my passion for food and culinary. Even though I wasn’t able to bake the best, moist muffins in the world that evening, she still saw the potential in me and she helped me see it too. If my aunt was able to express her desire to mentor and help me improve after seeing my weakness, I know that God (who loves me in spite of every speck of flaw, sin, struggle, and limitation in me, and knows the past, present, and future) is so much more able to work in and through me and my passions for His glory.
“ For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” [Philippians 2:13]
The day before I baked the Banana muffins, I posted a photo of the overripe bananas in the kitchen with a caption: “I can already imagine freshly baked banana muffins. Hahaha. Maybe I should bake today. #baking #overripe #banana” Even if the overripe bananas didn’t look like they were the best bananas, I still saw the possibility of making muffins by using them. In the same way, by God’s grace, I pray that I will learn to look at myself and at the people around me through the eyes of Christ – to look at how we can become through Christ in the future.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” [Ephesians 3:20-21]
Banana Nut Muffins
Recipe Adapted from Cooking Light:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1/3 cup plain sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup of diced nuts
*Bake at 350 degrees.
Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)