Our friends left on Monday, to fly back to the states and to a new duty station. It’s the first time that Mikey has really been old enough to realise that someone has gone, but he’s not yet old enough to exactly understand that he probably wont see them again. We said our goodbyes over the weekend and I’m expecting having to do a fair amount of explaining in the weeks to follow. Mikey adores their girls and they have been his playmates for the entire two years we’ve been here, I’ve already had to explain once while walking past their old apartment that they are “all gone” and it just made him angry because he wanted to play.
I know time is a great healer, things will settle down. But right now is quite difficult and I’m doing a lot of reassessing on how hard the Army life can be at times, especially on our children as they grow older.
I can’t, however, think of a much better comfort food to help us through than cupcakes. We had been intending to go pick blackberries for some time and I’ve been checking on them regularly, to make sure we get them when they’re ripe but before the birds get there first!
Mikey and I ventured out with tupperware to collect our long awaited prize. Then we came home and Mikey took a nice long nap, worn out from the mornings adventures. He awoke to freshly baked blackberry cupcakes, I’m not sure a person could ask for any more than that to cheer them up.
Recipe modified from Michelle at Une-deux Senses Makes 12 cupcakes.
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup blackberry puree (see end of cupcake recipe)
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, continuing to mix.
In a second bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla and blackberry puree. Add half of the dry ingredients to the electric mixer bowl and mix until just combined. Add the milk/blackberry mixer and continue to mix. Finally add the rest of the dry ingredients until just incorporated.
Divine the batter evenly into the cupcake tin and bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan for 15 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. After the cupcakes have cooled you can frost them if you like or just eat them plain. They taste good with cream cheese frosting!
For the blackberry puree
Puree 4oz blackberries together with 1 tbsp sugar and a splash of water. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and discard the seeds. This should make about 1/2 a cup but you may have to fiddle with it a little.