Here’s the thing about bad weather: no matter where you live there will always be people who overreact and even more people who are smug about how tough they are and like to challenge Mother Nature. Somewhere in the middle the rest of us do what’s best for our own situations and make the best of it.
In North Carolina, it snowed more than we’re used to seeing last night. Mixed with freezing rain and cold temps, there’s now a layer of snow and ice on everything in the area. Not a big deal in Boston – the plows just come through over night and then they salt and get your butt to school/work. But here they have brine trucks, not so much plows. So the snow just sort of hangs out and gets more slippery and dangerous. This morning there are one or two lanes that have been semi-cleared along the freeways but no side streets have been plowed. Our hilly cul-de-sac is a slippery trap. Even if we could get out it frankly doesn’t make much sense to, and no one seems to be scrambling to get out there. Laugh all you want, New England, but I’m staying put today and no one will have their lives drastically and negatively altered by it.
Usually when I’m home with a sick or snowbound kid my urge is to work anyway, tapping away on my phone while he sits in front of the TV, but I wanted to use this day to slow down and focus on what’s important. That was one of the major reasons we moved here and I’ve not been great about forcing myself out of the usual hamster wheel habits I developed over the last 15 years. So I did what any fidgety former Bostonian would do on a snow day: I made muffins.
I’ve tried making muffins with oatmeal before which resulted in what we now refer to darkly as, “Those pumpkin muffins.” This recipe from And Then We Saved promised that it was versatile and delicious, so I took some liberties with it and I have to agree that it’s a great base to play around with.
These were a little dense because of the whole wheat flour I added, but the blueberries helped to sweeten the deal and I mind less when my toddler eats two muffins in a row. They were hearty without being too heavy and mildly sweet, the blueberries a really great bright spot on a very cold day. I think I can get used to a snow-induced slow down every now and then.
Snow Day Muffins (Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins)
adapted from And Then We Saved
1 cup milk
1 cup quick oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 generous teaspoon cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 425°f.
2. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
3. In a small bowl, combine milk and oats. Soak for 15 minutes, yes, even if they’re quick oats. I soaked for 5 and they were a little chewy in the final product still.
4. In a separate small bowl, beat together egg and oil; stir in oatmeal mixture.
5. In a third bowl (this is a lot of bowls, I know), sift together flour, cinnamon, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
6. Stir flour mixture into wet ingredients until just combined.
7. Spoon batter into prepared pan, filling cups about 2/3 of the way up.
8. Bake for 15-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. Mine were perfect at 20 minutes.
Snow days: a nice chance to slow down or a giant pain in your ass? Discuss.