Summer muffins

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If these muffins look delicious, it’s because they’re chock-full of fresh Michigan strawberries and rhubarb.

I used this recipe for Jumbo Strawberry-and-Rhubarb Muffins from Food & Wine. The only thing I changed is the size — I’m not a huge fan of muffins as big as your head. So I used a standard-size muffin tin and ended up with 18 muffins instead of six. (Seriously, how jumbo were these muffins?)

Of course, I adjusted the baking time, too. I still cooked them at 375 degrees, but began checking them in five-minute increments after 25 minutes. At 35 minutes, they passed the toothpick test.

These muffins are super moist, likely thanks to the juicy strawberries. A perfect summer muffin — and breakfast.

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Farmer’s market Saturday: We have berries!

June 7

There were strawberries galore at Green City Market today, and from Michigan no less. Michigan strawberries are truly the best. Even if I wasn’t partial to my home state, which I very much am, this would still be true.

I also picked up asparagus, carrots, rhubarb, spinach and Swiss chard. (Yes, Swiss chard. I feel like eating some this week but won’t force any on Mike.)

Although my market bag was about full, I couldn’t pass up Hoosier Mama Pie Company’s small chess pie. I had my first sampling of this Southern favorite at my friend Molly’s backyard wedding in Nashville last summer. So good.

Overall, a nice day at the market. I’m happy that my berry bowl is finally full — not that it will be for long.

‘It’s Pimm’s o’clock!’

Four summers ago, I spent a warm and sunny afternoon on the south bank of the River Thames, at London’s famous Anchor pub, enjoying a Pimm’s cup — the quintessential English summer drink. I’m not sure if it was the mysterious gin-based liqueur mixed with lemonade, strawberries, cucumbers and mint, the breezy Katie Fforde novel I couldn’t put down, or just being on a solo adventure in such an amazing city, but that afternoon is one I look back on often and smile.

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Days like that simply can’t be recreated. But now that Pimm’s is available in the United States, my favorite drink can. And when I saw garden cucumbers and Michigan strawberries at the farmer’s market last Saturday, I knew it was “Pimm’s o’clock.”

Unfortunately, Mike doesn’t partake in Pimm’s. He claims the concoction, which ends up being brown with stuff floating in it, looks like “a garbage disposal backed up.” When we first started dating, he refilled my glass and tossed in his beer cap to further demonstrate his point. Yum.

So, I made a pitcher (a “jug of Pimm’s” in London-speak) the other night for my friend Kim and me. While the view from our back porch doesn’t exactly compare with the one from the patio of The Anchor, it was still a lovely night. And a lovely drink.