Muffin Monday: Sugar, Allspice, NaughtysoNice
It’s another edition of: the wrong things people say. Specifically assumptions made about me because I’m self-centered like that. Recently, as in like literally this past weekend, I was on set filming a music video. Hold up, rewind, yes I said filming a music video. Not the best thing to spend a whole day doing on the tail of a sore throat but hey when opportunity knocks…. The video will be release in a month or so and in order to NOT blow any potential confidentiality agreement I’m not going to provide much information about the shoot until that happens. So tough cookies you’ll just have to wait! What I can tell you is the song is amazing, the musician is a great guy, I was paid, got professional hair and makeup AND I got filmed as a hot chick in slowmo. It was invigorating, exciting and I felt like a rockstar even if I was only pretending to play guitar.
From moment I stepped on set people assumed from looking at my face that I was some innocent, angelic thing and immediately began to censor themselves around me. At one point the makeup artist clasped his hands over my ears and proclaimed “innocent ears” while one of the other girls made a dirty joke. I assured them all that while I may have very angelic features, I have the mouth of a sailor and a mind that essentially is the gutter and so not to worry.
True I’ve not done near the level of partying, pill popping or smoking that a lot of people in the music industry or college in general have done. Just because I take care of my body doesn’t mean I’m Sandra Dee. I’ve had my fair share of scandalous adventures, bad behavior and a real capacity for fucking shit up. Still folks seem to conflate a youthful, fresh face and my tendency to observe more than display around new groups of people with a childlike naiveté. This makes for particularly amusing reactions the first time I drop a series of expletives or gleefully join in on some lewd commentary. It can be a lot of fun surprisingly people with just how scandalous I can be. It’s like having a little secret and that makes it feel even more deliciously bad.
This assumption is very similar to how people look at me, see pretty Barbie girl and have no clue that within me beats the nerdiest of hearts. I’ve noticed though that the not-so-innocent role is more readily accepted when revealed to people than the geeky one. I wonder why that is…. Regardless of the Geek Me or Naughty Me, it can be extremely frustrating at times because I feel like I’m being underestimated or dismissed based purely off looks. The truth is I will pick up on sexual innuendo faster than a bonobo and I’m often holding back multiple dirty jokes during the course of any conversation. I can hold my own matching wits, barbs and paint-peeling cursing with more than most and I have been known to dance on tables at parties. I just exercise restraint in certain settings or around new people. I like to gauge my surroundings, read what others are like and decide what aspects of my personality would be appropriate at that time. Some might call it censorship but I think of it more as acting. There are many “versions of me” as I’ve said in the past. I wear various “Olivia Personalities” the same way I would wear clothes…in fact the clothes I wear each day are really only accessorizing the version of me I’m wearing that day.
The bare minimum version of me is a very clean looking, all-american girl. I can’t get change my default factory setting. I can definitely alter that with the right eyeliner, boots and swagger but I’m not walking around 24/7 in that ensemble because I like exploring all my different personalities and not locking into one. I’ll admit that the “innocent Olivia” is also a bit more useful in most day to day situations. It also is why sometimes I have to pause, check myself and fear that deep down I’m just manipulating everyone around me all the time by seeming like the “sugar, spice and everything nice.”
Where do you draw the line between choosing to wear different personalities and being a manipulative individual? The fact that I can so easily make doe eyes and hide behind the little girl persona always makes me worry I’m really just a horrible person who uses people around her all the time. I don’t think I am, and I certainly don’t use it to my advantage the way I could but there certainly are times when it comes in handy. People are more receptive to it, more likely to help if I’m short of bus fare or trying to cut in line at an airport to make my flight. Heck I think people are just nicer to me in general because they feel flattered, paternal or nurturing in general when I’m this mode.
Am I catching flies with honey or am I doing something far more sinister? Is the fact that I worry about it a sign that I’m in fact NOT a bad person? It certainly isn’t something that feels faked most of the time. I do have that part of me that is very girly and innocent. I like wearing flowery hats and being adorable but I also know that I’m capable of NOT being that way. So what is truth here? When someone is nicer to me that day, does me a favor or looks the other way because I’m playing sweet girl and not party rocker, girl next door or pissed off bitch…am I taking advantage of something or is it all perfectly innocent after all? Is it okay if I genuinely mean it or is it wrong because I’m aware at how receptive some people are to it?
Sorry didn’t mean to burden this Monday’s Muffin with such introspective musings. Especially when I opened with “I filmed a frakking Music Video!” Anyway these muffins are oddly relevant to the topic at hand. While they appear at first to be kind of homey and simple just taking a bite into these babies when they are just above room temperature will quickly smack your tastebuds. Allspice isn’t loud the way cinnamon is, but it has a unique flavor that will seduce you and steal your wallet. The streusal topping that may appear kind of homely will get under your skin and soon you’ll be begging to eat a bowl of it with a spoon. Deceptively simple in appearance but oh so sinfully naughty. That’s what these muffins are. Mmmmmm.
Allspice Crumb Muffinsfrom “Baking from my home to yours” by Dorie Greenspan
For the Streusel:
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 5 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
For the Muffins:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Grated zest of 1 lemon (optional)
Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper cups. Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan which needs neither greasing nor paper cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.
To Make the Streusel: Put the flour, brown sugar and allspice in a small bowl and sift them through your fingers to blend. Add the bits of cold butter and toss to get irregularly shaped crumbs. Set aside in the refrigerator for the moment. (You can make the crumbs up to 3 days ahead and keep them covered in the refrigerator.)
To Make the Muffins: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, allspice and salt. Stir in the brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the melted butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract together until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough–the batter will be lumpy, and that is just the way it should be. Stir in the lemon zest, if you’re using it.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Sprinkle some streusel over each muffin, then use your fingertips to gently press the crumbs into the batter.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.