Cooking with Myra: I love summer, and don't want it to end

Sept. 6, 2011 at 4:06 a.m.

Monkey Bread Muffins

Monkey Bread Muffins

BY MYRA STARKEYI don't want summer to be over.

I love the casualness of the season.

I love the home-grown tomatoes still warm from the sunshine that squish in your mouth as you eat them right out of the garden.

I love to walk on the beach and see families on vacation, spending memory-making time with their offspring.

I love juicy sweet watermelons.

I love lemonade and cherry-lime slushes that quench your thirst.

I love sunshine that arrives early and stays late, allowing my zinnias to grow.

I love long, slow meals in the evenings, where the talk turns to the good ol' days, and we end up sitting on the porch in rocking chairs, thinking that we may have turned out just like our parents.

Yes, summertime is hot, but not intolerable, while you are sipping sweet tea with a friend, talking about your kids and their antics.

I love the special weekends when our kids come home and bring all their friends who are hungry and tired, and just want food cooked by someone's mom.

I love the sound of lawn mowers and how my yard looks after it is mowed with perfect stripes where the machine has passed methodically round and round.

I love being really hot and tired, and coming inside to the air conditioning and having a fan blowing on me. I love summer.

Last weekend, Miles, our oldest son, and his girlfriend, Julia, came home for a visit. Miles has graduated and is working full time, so the term summer, which used to mean time off or a lighter schedule at school, now means 40 hours a week, plus benefits.

He came home to celebrate his birthday. Hannah and her husband, Ben, also showed up with two other couples in tow and so we had quite a large group for the Labor Day Weekend.

I spent a lot of time going to and from the grocery store, while the 20-something-year-olds fished, ate and laid out in the sun, hopefully adequately coated in sunscreen.

I loved being the cook who prepared all the special things they wanted. It was fun to see them barefoot, never giving any thought to shoes whether they were inside the house or out.

I prepared several days of breakfasts. Hannah and I made fried doughnuts from biscuit dough one morning and on another, little sausages rolled up in croissant dough and then baked. They used to really like those pigs in a blanket when they were kids.

I had planned to make monkey bread muffins, but I ran out of holiday mornings. I figured I would make some of these just for Taylor and me.

These remind me of childhood breakfasts when my mom would make monkey bread in a Bundt pan. She would get my sisters and me to help cut the biscuits with scissors and then roll them in the cinnamon sugar and drop them in the pan.

Thirty minutes later a masterpiece would emerge, and we would sit around our cake and pick off the small sugary bread.

The two of us cannot possibly eat an entire Bundt cake of monkey bread, but we can eat a couple of muffins. These are so easy and perfect for weekend mornings. Not exactly low carb, but good tasting.

I know summer is almost over and fall is trying to make its way to us. Summer does not easily give up the fight in South Texas. The outside temperature this morning had dropped to a chilly 80 degrees with north winds even though it was back to 100 by the afternoon.

Taylor remarked that a northern must have blown in, and I gave a sigh knowing summer might soon to be gone.

Myra Starkey lives in Victoria. Write her in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901, or email



Powered By AffectDigitalMedia