29 February 2016

Let's have breakfast already

Eventually I'll wake up.

Hands ice-cold – You forgot your gloves on the kitchen table – head emptied – That shows! – an unsure yawn. A turn to the left, over a particularly arched bridge, legs woolen, strained. What's this? A police car blocks the road, but it doesn't look intentional. Someone is shouting, a female voice. A guy, on his knees, shouting back, swears it won't happen again. A night gone bad, and the police happened to be passing. Now they are standing and watching the scene, themselves a man and a woman. I float by, leave them behind, descend the bridge with ease.

I hear the heels, on the empty street they sound sharp but brittle. Tram tracks are brought to sheen by a light frost, and these too sound alive, two metal nerve endings through which electric currents charge. A turn to the right – a man relieves himself onto a corner of somebody's home. He's got my face, has on the same shoes. What is all this? On the window next door, a butcher's, hangs a picture of glossy meat balls. Looks good. An empty bottle lays on the dampened sidewalk. I step on a glass shard, it crunches like the heel of a burnt bread loaf.

I look at myself walking down the street, and with a tug on my stomach. Toss and turn, and again. I almost disappeared around the corner when I turn around and over the sound of next-door neighbors' drilling walls in their bedroom, assertively say:

Let's have breakfast already.

Irish Oatmeal Muffins

From The Breakfast Book, by Marion Cunningham
Yield: 12 muffins

I'm into oats for my breakfast. For a long time I've been into this very best oatmeal, and although I don't intend to forsake that, not for long anyway, I'm also into variation. These muffins are an ideal breakfast material: fluffy, with a pleasant nubby texture, not too sweet, if barely at all, with a right ratio of chewiness to softness, plenty of fiber, and a genuine flavor of oats. They are plain-looking muffins, there is no denying that. That's fine, though, because muffins are not cakes, they shouldn't be fancily decorated or overly sweet, plus, let me say it explicitly now, in their simplicity they are delicious, delectable, etc.

The Irish cook their oatmeal all night long for a rich and creamy effect, writes Marion Cunningham. Therefore, these muffins need to be soaked overnight in buttermilk to obtain that signature creamy oatmeal flavor. If you can, toast the oats first (180 C, about ten minutes?) to bring forth – even more! – their sweet nutty taste.

Lastly, I'm into Marion Cunningham's brilliance and wits. Expect more here from her The Breakfast Book. xo

500 ml (2 cups) buttermilk
100 g (1 cup) rolled oats
2 large eggs
135 g (¾ cup) cane sugar
210 g (1 2/3 cups) whole wheat flour
4 g (1 teaspoon) baking soda
7 g (1 teaspoon) fine sea salt
30 ml (2 tablespoons) vegetable oil

Combine the buttermilk and the oats at least 6 hours (ideally overnight) ahead of mixing and baking the muffins. Stir well, cover, and let rest in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F). Grease a muffin tin.

Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat until yolk and white are blended. Add the sugar and beat to mix well. Add the buttermilk-oatmeal mixture. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and oil. Beat until the batter is well mixed.

Fill the muffin tins three-quarters full of batter. They bake about 20 minutes, but start checking for doneness after 15 minutes. The tops should look nice and golden brown. Remove the muffins from the tin and cool on a wire rack, or serve warm from the pan. In an airtight container, they'll keep well for up to three days. But will they last that long?