I have a confession to make. It started when I was a teenager and it’s something that has grown since then, achieving the conviction and strength that comes only with time and commitment. I know, some people might think it’s a bit weird for a girl to feel this way (silly people), let alone a grown-ass woman, but I just can’t help it. So here goes.
Folks, I love Nerf guns. I think they’re good for the soul.
It all started at the beginning of high school. I was friends with a pack of boys and we all did technical theater. We spent evenings, weekends and a significant portion of winter break at school building sets, which sometimes involved running around the school at midnight getting into mischief. See, this was the 90′s. This was back when my school had George the security guard, but no security cameras. When the photocopiers didn’t have passwords and we knew how to get into any room in the school, regardless of whether it was locked. (For most, it was merely an issue of putting your hip to the door and then using something flat to depress the latch. Others required more imagination.) That was certainly a more innocent time. It didn’t occur to us to vandalize or steal. We just wanted to see if we could conquer the lock or maybe we wanted to draw on the blackboard or get to the roof. I mean, this was the era when I brought a Leatherman tool to school every day and it never even occurred to me that I could get in trouble for it.
So what does this have to do with nerf guns? Well, I started giving my boys a Christmas present every year and the theme of all the presents was projectile. I think it started with the Koosh Fling Shot (remember that?), which led to an epic game of cat and mouse that ranged over the entire school late at night. This tradition very quickly became cemented in the form of nerf guns and, let me tell you, there’s nothing like the sheer joy and enthusiasm with which a pack of teenagers engage in a nerf gun battle.
And the tradition held. Each year there were nerf guns and battles at Christmas, all the way through college. We would gather during winter break for a Christmas breakfast or dinner, exchange presents and battle with nerf guns. Miraculously, my mom’s house is still standing. One year, being fully aware of my intense fear of snakes, one of the guys gave me the movie Anacondas and I was forced to sit and watch it with all of them. And again, nerf guns came to the rescue, because each time a snake appeared we fired at it and the super fake anacondas were a lot less scary once neon yellow nerf darts obscured much of the screen.
As you may know, after college things start to change a bit. Folks are busy and not everyone makes it home for the holidays, which meant our annual Christmas battle became less annual and more sporadic, until the times when we were able to meet up usually involved hanging out at a bar or going out to dinner rather than subjecting my mom to the constant threat of getting bombarded with nerf gun darts. Then my 30th birthday rolled around. Some of the guys were planning on coming down to Atlanta for the big day and shortly beforehand a giant amazon box showed up on my front steps. “Don’t open it,” Adam warned cautioned my over the phone. “Just throw it in the guest room until I get there.” When all the guys arrived, I was banished from the room and they held a secret man conference in excited, hushed whisper, interspersed with shouts of laughter and rounds of shushing. Right before my party they sat my down and proudly presented me with my birthday present, which was, of course, an arsenal of nerf guns. And so it was that my 30th birthday featured not only a magic show (I know, right?), but a proper nerf gun battle. And all was right with the world.
I bring this up today, because I love how excited my friends get when they come over and see the stack of nerf guns. I recently had a breakfast party where folks came over in the late morning and we had bellinis and bloody marys and stuffed ourselves on delicious breakfast food while watching He-Man and Animaniacs. And then my nerf guns were discovered and everything devolved into shrieks, laughter, running around, hiding behind furniture and door frames and just good, silly fun. And that’s what I love about Nerf guns. When they come out the years seem to melt away. The pressing issues of adult life take a back seat to the immediate prospect of getting nailed with nerf darts and all that joy, adrenaline and laughter from childhood comes rushing back. Like I said, Nerf guns are good for the soul.
Oh, and I made these blueberry muffins for the breakfast party. They’re pretty tasty.
- 4 C Flour
- 3 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 8 oz Butter
- 2 C Sugar
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- 4 Eggs, large
- 1½ Tbsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 C Goats Milk (or ⅔ C Whole Milk plus ¼ C plain greek yogurt)
- 2 Tbsp Rum
- 1 quart Blueberries
- ¼ C Sugar
- ¼ C Dark Brown Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Flour
- ½ tsp Salt
- 4 tsp Grape Seed or Canola Oil
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line muffins tins with papers (24).
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- Cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time and mixing until just combined, followed by the vanilla extract.
- Mix the rum with the goat's milk.
- Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk in three batches, starting and finishing with the dry ingredients. Mix until the batter only just comes together; it's okay if there are still some lumps.
- Fold in the blueberries.
- Combine all the crumble ingredients in a bowl and mix together until the ingredients come together in a sandy texture.
- Fill the muffin tins ¾ full and sprinkle the crumble over the tops.
- Bake the muffins in the 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
If you can’t think of muffin else after reading this post, you might like these berry nice recipes:
Buttermilk Muffins | Peaches Please
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins | Peaches Please
Best Blueberry Muffins | Barbara Bakes – this is the recipe I adapted to make my muffins.
Lemon Blueberry Muffins | Alaska from Scratch
Healthy Blueberry Muffins | Chocolate Covered Katie