Yesterday, it rained, snowed, hailed, hailed sideways because of the howling winds, turned to cold clear sunlight, and then did it all over again.
This is a little like the week we’ve been having.
Monday night, late into Tuesday morning, I turned in the full manuscript of our cookbook. I will tell you more about it later. I want to share. But I’m too exhausted to even form sentences about it right now.
Tuesday, all day, Danny and I packed up our house while making lists in rushed handwriting on ruled 4x6 index cards. And then spent too much time looking for those cards amidst a sea of boxes. We move to a new house on the island tomorrow.
Last night, we sent in the last two big pieces of paperwork for our adoption.
And there are more stories, new possibilities and developments we can’t share with you yet.
Thank goodness for Lucy pretending to dive onto the couch and splash in the cushions, for good friends who understand brief conversations right now, and for Danny being with me to do this. We’re breathing.
And we’ve been living on these oatmeal muffins.
Amanda Soule, one of my favorite people in this world, last week put up a post about life in her kitchen right now. (Oh, how I wish I could hang out there with them.) Do you know Amanda? Soule Mama? She’s just plain wonderful. And she just launched Taproot, a new magazine, a gathering of voices and photographers who are living close to the earth. I love the tagline: Living Fully, Digging Deeper. This one is made for me. And you. I have been reading the first issue each night before I fall into bed exhausted. I’m pretty sure it’s saving my sanity. Anyway, as much as I love everything she is doing, that post full of photos, and the tiny narrative about how to make oatmeal muffins from leftover oatmeal, changed me. I moved into the kitchen to bake, immediately.
These muffins are wholesome, ever-so-slightly sweet, and full of good whole grains, dried fruit, and nuts. I love them. Lucy loves them. Danny, who normally has a raging sweet tooth, loves them.
I’m pretty sure these have been the fuel for us to move through this crazy week.
In a few days, we’ll be settled into a new home, learning the light for photographs there, and finding all the creaks on the floors. Everything feels like it’s changing around here. But I can tell you one constant: we’ll be making these muffins.
GLUTEN-FREE OATMEAL MUFFINS, adapted from Amanda Soule
These are the easiest-peasiest muffins I’ve ever made. I’ve actually been making versions of these for months, but just throwing in sugar and baking powder, an egg, and melted butter. I had never measured them. I kept calling them the Ugly Muffins, because they ended up sort of shrunken or lumpy, depending on the mix I made up. Seeing Amanda’s ratio made me realize I should measure these and stop calling them names.
If you’re making these for someone gluten-free, please remember to make your oatmeal with certified gluten-free oats. Some folks who are celiac can’t tolerate oats even if they are gluten-free. In that case, I’m not sure what I would do here but maybe try some hot brown rice cereal or quinoa flakes instead. Or, you know, make another kind of muffin.
270 grams (about 1 cup) cooked oatmeal, cooled
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon melted butter (or coconut oil)
1/2 cup milk (any non-dairy milk will do fine here too)
4 tablespoons jam (you could also use honey or maple syrup)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
210 grams gluten-free flour mix (we used equal parts of teff/millet/buckwheat)
1 tablespoon psyllium husk
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pistachios (you can sub in 1/2 cup of any nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or fresh fruit for these two)
Preparing to bake. Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
Making the batter. Put all the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. (You could also do this by hand.) Mix until the batter is fully combined, with no visible flour.
Baking the muffins. Scoop the batter into each well of the muffin tin, filling it 3/4 full. We ended up with 8 large muffins this way. If you wanted to fill the tins 1/2 way, you will end up with more.
Bake until the muffins are browned, with a little athletic jiggle when you touch the top, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Cool the muffins by turning them sideways in the muffin tin, showing the side of the muffins to the sky. After 15 minutes, move them to a cooling rack. Cool to room temperature.
Makes 8 to 12 muffins.