Off to see the wizard, bacon-herb cupcakes

Well, it’s here — reunion time. Can I hang onto myself, my grownup self, in the midst of all this nostalgic whoop-de-do?

I don’t remember a half century ago through a scrim of fondness. Life at home was such that I remember thinking, I wish I could feel something, anything! (It was much safer not to. We held our collective breaths, waiting for my father’s next explosion.)

This instant I’m a perfect blend of anxiety and anticipation, sort of a snapshot of my entire life. “Why don’t you ever expect things to turn out well?” asked my friend Cathy C., millenia ago in the Charlotte newsroom. Why indeed? Odds are usually at least even that they might.

Like Huckleberry Hound, with whom I share this house, I find it difficult, if not impossible, to just imagine having fun.

But I was taught, carefully taught, that doom is in the unknown, lurking in the corners with the dust bunnies. Color outside the lines, and catastrophe pounces. And now I’m trying to unteach what can only be called an old, tired and gloomy dog. In the mornings, with the days in front of her, she’s more receptive and less likely to succumb to the voices urging her to eat and feel “happier.”  Which means less strife-torn.

In the mornings I feel as though I can handle what’s on my list. By late afternoon, things have generally skidded beyond my control, and I’m playing computer solitaire to numb the anxiety. It’s less fattening than muffins but every bit as much a drug.

But  I’m going to see if I can will myself to look forward to the unknown. The puppy’s at the spa (mid-size suite with privacy walls), I’ve picked out my clothes and picked up my new glasses. Tomorrow I just have to grab the blueberry muffins and bacon cupcakes from the freezer and put them in a cooler for Friday morning’s coffee. The bacon cupcakes are best right out of the oven — maybe next time I make them I won’t be 500 miles away from where we’re eating them. (This is a Southern Living recipe, by the by, guaranteed good and not diet food.)

Bacon-herb cupcakes

1-1/2 cups sour cream

1/2 cup cooked, finely crumbled bacon

1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter

1/4 cup finely chopped assorted fresh herbs (I used thyme, chives, oregano, sage and Texas tarragon)

2 green onions, chopped

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 cups self-rising flour

6 ounces cream cheese, softened

Heat oven to 375°. Stir together sour cream, bacon, butter, herbs, onions, pepper. Stir in flour, only until blended. Spoon batter into lightly greased miniature muffin pans, filling

Verbena bonariensis, re-seeds and pops up everywhere.

Spangled fritillary on verbena. It’s irresistible to butterflies.

cups completely full.

Bake for 26 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Remove cupcakes from pans to wire rack and cool. Spread or pipe tops of cupcakes with cream cheese. Garnish with additional minced herbs and crumbled bacon if desired. Makes 32 mini-muffins.


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