Forest Floor Muffins

The ice storm arrived here after midnight, so we awoke to a sparkling world. The sparkle was brief though, because very soon the snow began to fall, making everything white, and surprisingly, not all that slippery. We did not lose power at any point. Today was another gray day.

Having baked bread last weekend, there was no need to do it again this weekend. Actually, there were no plans to bake today. But mid-afternoon I was looking for a snack and couldn’t settle on anything. So I made muffins, a go-to recipe. I don’t read the recipe anymore, I just use this recipe’s base ingredients, and then mix and match the rest of the ingredients.

The base ingredients are divided into two categories, dry and wet. Extras are usually added to the basic dry ingredients, but also sometimes to the wet.

The dry ingredients in my base recipes are:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of quick cooking oats
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder (aluminum free)
  • 4 tablespoons of brown sugar

The wet ingredients, in a two cup measuring up are:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • liquid to make ABOUT 1 1/2 to 2 cups (milk, applesauce, pureed pumpkin, pureed any fruit).
    NOTE: the liquid is the tricky bit in my muffin baking. When I add a cup of applesauce or pumpkin puree to the liquid measure, the mixture is quite thick, and needs a bit more thin liquid (like milk) to moisten the batter adequately. And muffins can easily be over stirred, so getting the liquid to dry ratio just right, without stirring too much can be tricky.

The rest of the ingredients are discretionary. My mixing and matching was ambitious today. To my muffins I added: chopped walnuts; chocolate chips; shredded coconut; roasted sunflower seeds; flax seeds; raisins; and applesauce. When describing my choices to Attila, he laughed and called the muffins, Forest Floor Muffins. He figures my choice of ingredients was the equivalent of going for a walk in the forest and picking up whatever interesting things I could find on the ground, then throwing them into a recipe. The process was a bit like that, I have to admit. The muffins are delicious.

I use the basic dry and wet ingredient measurements to make all my muffins. I end up with low-sodium, low-sugar muffins that taste good to us. I can vary the recipe depending on what is on hand, or in season. Currently Attila favours Cranberry Chocolate Chip Muffins for his lunches. I mix a cup of whole fresh or thawed cranberries into the dry ingredients just before adding the wet ingredients, AND I add a few drops of liquid stevia to the wet ingredients, because the cranberries demand it.

Attila spent the weekend making soup for weekday snacks, and applying vapour barrier on the newly insulated walls in the basement. He is down to working on the fiddly bits of vapour barriers, behind pipes, the furnace, and the hot water heater. I snuck in a mention of my new kitchen shelf today, providing him with the height and width specifications that I have decided on. Fingers crossed for that project!

So not exactly a busy day, not exactly an exciting day (excitement is highly overrated), but certainly a pleasant day.

Worldly

Weather

-7°C (we are getting down into oil furnace temperatures!)
Date: 8:00 PM EST Sunday 12 January 2020
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 103.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -7.1°C
Dew point: -9.7°C
Humidity: 82%
Wind: NE 8 km/h
Wind Chill: -11
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“What is important is to keep learning, to enjoy challenge, and to tolerate ambiguity. In the end there are no certain answers.”
Martina Horner