By Justin Rossow and Pat Maier
I recently had the chance to interview Pat Maier, one of the cofounders of Visual Faith™ Ministry, for the Next Step Podcast. That episode on the Word becoming flesh and moving into the neighborhood at Christmas also featured Amy Meyer, cofounder of Neighboring Life. (You can listen to that episode here: Infant Holy, Infant Lowly.)
As part of our conversation on being intentional about neighboring relationships, Amy suggested that Christmas is a great time to connect with your neighbors, because it’s one of the times of year when people might expect someone to drop off an invitation or look for a chance to get together.
Pat mentioned baking as a kind of bridge to the hearts and homes of the people who live around you, especially this time of year.
I think it’s always nice to share something with your neighbors at Christmas time. I think that’s an easy thing to do: take a plate of muffins, or some Christmas cookies, or other homemade goodies.
Pat also suggested you add a blessing or a prayer to your homemade yummies, adding that people are often more receptive to that kind of small gesture than we typically think they will be.
When you do [take a neighbor a plate of muffins], just consider sharing a little bit of God’s Word; a prayer card or a little note of blessing for them.
I think it’s not offensive for someone when you say you are praying for them, or that you bless them: “This is what I wish for you in the new year…” That gesture might inspire conversation in the future.
You can use one of Pat’s own designs to share a little Scripture of a prayer along with your orange muffins by visiting the Visual Faith™ Ministry webpage. (You can also learn more about “bible margins” on the Next Step Community blog: Bible Margin Art: Comfort In the Midst of Crisis.)
But the thing that really caught my attention was her description of her orange muffins:
It takes a whole orange: like you take the rind, and the inside, and everything. And you just add a little flour and sugar and some spice. And it’s like biting into a fresh orange–almost!
I just had to get that recipe and share it with you! I hope these muffins are a blessing to you and, maybe, through you to the people God has placed around you! Merry Christmas!
Pat Maier’s Fresh Orange Muffin Recipe
- 6 Tbsp butter/margarine
- 1 orange (rind, pulp, juice)
- 1/3 Cup orange juice
- 1/2 craisins (or raisins)
- 1 1/2 Cups flour
- 3/4 Cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Grate rind of orange & put in blender; remove white pith and cut the rest of the orange into the blender.
- Add butter and 1/3 c. orange juice; blend.
- Add craisins and pulse for 10 seconds.
- Sift together dry ingredients and add to orange mixture, stirring just until moistened.
- Fill 12 muffin cups & bake for 20 min.
VERY moist! Can sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if desired.