4 months late

Yo internet! This is a guest post some of my best friends in the whole wide world, Anne, Steph, and Lyd. They sent it to me in July, and I said I would post it, but being the asshole that I am, I forgot! I would like to plead insanity, please. Just talk to anyone who tried to hang out with me this spring/summer. They will confirm. Some of them are even doctors, I bet. Anyway, I was recently in NY to gorge myself on food and visit My People, and the subject came up, and I felt embarrassed, and I am determined to make this right. So, pretend it’s July, pretend there ever existed a season where I had my shit together, pretend there ever will be. And enjoy the musings of some of the greatest people I know:

Just in case you think Kat surrounds herself with fabulous, domesticated, modern women all the time, you’re wrong. She’s got some pretty baller friends, but we’re not all the goddesses of the kitchen that she is.  We all met back when we spent a lot of time running around in circles, eating pancakes until we were literally ill (editor’s note: seriously, we vomited), and staying out until all hours of the morning chasing boys.  Kat was the captain of these adventures.  Now we all have jobs, more degrees and apartments, and so we never do any of those things anymore… except the running and the overeating, and, well, right.  But Kat’s still our captain, and so we try to follow her lead when we can.

But we don’t bake. Some of us dabble, some of us don’t.   However, a couple weeks ago we all went to Maine (without Kat, sadly), and maybe it was the summer breeze blowing through my mom’s kitchen, maybe it was the fact that we just really missed her, maybe we all want to connect with our inner kitchen goddess.  Regardless, Steph, who is the biggest lover and critic of baked goods among us, and probably the least enthusiastic about making them herself, got herself all in a tizzy over some muffins.  See, this girl loves muffins. Loves them in a sometimes they’re the only thing in our fridge and it’s ok that all the tops are gone kind of way.  Loves them in a has several million adjectives for how chewy the innards should be.  But she’s a consumer, not a baker, and so when I got an email with the subject “we can try to make these!” I knew a little bit of crazy was in the air and we were in for an adventure.

So, after a run and a grocery trip at 8am on a Sunday, we were off. (side note- yes, all the pics include Steph. This was because 1. we didn’t anticipate blogging this, although this was admittedly very selfish of us, and 2. we needed a full documentary record that she had in fact made them. You don’t see Lydia behind the camera giving instructions, but that would really ruin the illusion for Steph’s mom, now, wouldn’t it? No one needs to mention that part. Although props to Lyd who really carried the day with her instructional support on this one.)

Steph gets the real shout-out though for her commitment to this recipe. First my mom gave her  “a muffin recipe that involves multiple steps and chilling things? Go pick some blueberries out back and whip up something simple.” I said “really, the grocery store at 8am?” Lydia just sort of shook her head. But Steph was NOT put off. That girl made crunchy pastry top with the best of ’em.

So yeah, these muffins have lots of parts, which you can read about below. That’s not the fun part of this story. Although making them is a good time, and easier than you would think.  Just read the instructions and do it.  If Steph can, you can.  And yes, those are bubbles on the counter, which we also purchased at the grocery store.

The fun part of this story is that sometimes in life, things happen. Sometimes a weekend causes you to fall into the Atlantic with your fourth iphone in a month in your pocket and sometimes you get food poisoning and sometimes you sit in JFK for 6 hours waiting for something, anything to happen with your flight.  So how is it the best weekend ever? No idea. But it is.

And sometimes you’re about to bake muffins that you’ve worked really hard on and life decides to throw you another curveball.  We had the oven all preheated, we get the muffins in, and all of a sudden, we hear a bang.  Now- we are in Maine. It is very possible that someone just fired a rifle at a woodchuck that got into the carrots a few too many times, or someone’s uncle’s step-brothers kid was screwing around with early fireworks.  But we conferred with my shirtless neighbor holding a can of Bud in the street at 10am on a Sunday, who informed us that the power was out and the whole neighborhood was dark because a transistor blew. Ayuh.

Now, we have an electric oven.  You can put two and two together here.  So we took a towel and stopped up the vents which would let any extra heat out, didn’t open the door, and just let the muffins sit with some quickly chilling air and encouraging words.  After 30 min, they didn’t fully rise, they were a little chewy, but they were definitely edible.  Who knew you can bake without an oven? Kat, stop pretending this is hard.

Muffin

Here’s our “wow be really impressed with the finished product” picture. Yup. If you look closely, there’s a container of half-risen muffins which are mostly missing their tops. (the girls all have their tops on, whatkindofblogdoyouthinkshe’srunninghereanyway). But really, that’s not the point now, is it?  Sometimes you have to head into a baking adventure with exclamation points, be excited when it’s edible, and end up enjoying a beautiful day. Sometimes its ok that everything went wrong, because you can’t possibly be unhappy on an afternoon like this.

Kip, come back and cook for us, please.

[Editor’s final note: I love these ladies]

Oatmeal Muffins
from 101 Cookbooks

Don’t use instant oats here, go for rolled oats. It’s worth noting, I used the crumble-topping from the Tutti-Frutti crumble in Super Natural Every Day – and it makes about double the crumble you’ll need for these muffins. I’m never one to complain about having extra crumble on hand – you can keep it in the freezer until the next time you want a crumble top on something. Crumble, then freeze. Also, this recipe yields a slightly awkward 1 1/2 dozen muffins. Bake all at once, or bake a one-dozen pan batch, keep the leftover batter in the refrigerator for a couple days, then bake the rest.

Crumble topping:
scant 3/4 cup / 3 oz / 85 g whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup / 1.5 oz / 45 g rolled oats
1/2 cup / 2.5 oz / 70 g natural cane or brown sugar
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup / 2.5 oz / 70 g unsalted butter, melted

Muffin batter:
1 cup / 3.5 oz / 100 g rolled oats
3/4 cup / 3.5 oz / 100 g unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cup / 3.5 oz / 100 g whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
7/8 cup / 7 oz / 200 g unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
1/2 cup / 2.5 oz / 70 g natural cane or brown sugar
1 1/2 cups / 12 oz / 350 ml plain yogurt
2 large eggs, whisked

Preheat oven to 350F / 180C. Butter one or two muffin pans generously. I didn’t use paper liners, and I’m glad I didn’t. Place oven racks in top third of oven.

Get your crumble topping for your muffins started first. Use a fork to combine the flour, oats, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter. Divide the mixture into three portions, and use your hands to form into three flat-ish patties. Place the patties in a bowl in the freezer for about ten minutes.

Now, onto the muffin batter. In a medium bowl combine the oats, flours, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Whisk in the yogurt, and then the eggs. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir just until combined. Do your best to avoid over mixing.

Pour the batter into the muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Pull the crumble from the freezer and break it up into small and medium pieces. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with crumble, place the muffins in the oven and bake 30 – 35 minutes or until tops are golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool just a minute or so, then turn out onto a cooling rack – important!

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen muffins.

Prep time: 10 min – Cook time: 35 min

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Author: katboda

Hey, cram it.

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