Did someone say streusel?
This isn't a Halloween post. Or a Thanksgiving post. Technically. Though Thanksgiving is just a stone's throw away- if you somehow conjure a metaphorical stone to metaphorically hurl into the time-space continuum, piercing the veil of eight and a half weeks that blows by in a singular exhale, surely faster than light. And this exhale, it was only following a previous breath- a breath I took yesterday- which turns out to be one year ago. A year since that Pumpkin Praline Pie I baked. I have a hard time wrapping my brain around this.
This is a post about time.
Some days I feel as if I am slave to the calendar, an unwitting cog in the wheel of the year with Sundays and holidays appointed by proxy, designated by some superior force that rules my random wandering nature with an unforgiving fist, demanding obedience. Charting the course of my life.
Then I remember the truth.
Time is an invention born of the Big Bang. Debris hurtling through space- at increasing velocity. And here we are, hurtling along with it. Stuck to a rock spinning its own orbital logic. Logic so tiny in the fantastical face of infinity, the depth and breadth of vast, hollow, endless space. In the beyond-comprehension scheme of things, we are all walking talking miracles. It is truly beyond extraordinary that we are here at all, with all the subatomic quantum level things that could go wrong. With all the near misses. And all that never was.
Life is breathtakingly rare, intricately fragile, and so surprising.
Perhaps that's why we set apart a season to ponder the harvest, to cultivate gratitude. I'm all for it. I'm all for it because of all the petty, surface level annoyances we endure, all the itches and aches and heartbreaks and mundane difficulties, all the tricks and rationalizations we serve ourselves to distract ourselves, just to survive. To get through the day. To endure until tomorrow. To re-imagine what is possible. Or ignore the inevitable. To flirt with meaning. To invite love in. To create a connection. To let go of something toxic. To embrace something raw or something tender. To risk something wonderful. Or scary. Because the risk gleams with promise.
The microcosm of this past year has been the microcosm of my life. Contractions and expansions. Sloughing off and gathering in. There's been some blooming. And some fading. Inner strength toughened. Muscles softened. Authenticity inches one step closer. Understanding melts into compassion. For myself, first of all.
I am learning to hold my imperfections to the light and examine them with less acidity. This single choice alone creates more room for compassion toward others. It's true what the sages say about loving yourself first. I no longer care to be my own worst enemy.
I'll leave that purpose to someone else.
I am grateful for so many things this year. For the ongoing privilege of motherhood. For the new family joined to us now in marriage and through heart strings. For old and new friends. For a warm bed shared. For the means to put food on the table (thank you Blogger). For these six years of gypsy living, taking the long way home. For this opportunity to string words together in cyberspace, and share recipes and ramblings with you.
Have a beautiful week. And while we're at it- a spooky-lovely Halloween. A heartwarming Thanksgiving. Small and quiet or big and boisterous. Be well fed, in every way.
On to the Muffins...
A friend was coming by to visit. So I wanted to create a new pumpkin muffin based on my moist and tender Pumpkin Pie Bread. I thought I'd add walnuts and a streusel topping. And cinnamon. I played around with my recipe and baked a batch of these little golden lovelies.
You could substitute pecans for the walnuts, if you like.
And then go read a page or two of A Short History of Everything. And we can talk about the whole time-space continuum thing.
It'll blow your mind.
Gluten-Free Wheat-Free Pumpkin Streusel Muffins Recipe
Karina's recipe originally published November 2011.These muffins taste like a pumpkin pie that was transformed by a Fairy Godmother into warm little morsels of cakey goodness. Wave a magic butter knife sporting a daub of creamy vegan butter on these babies and you've got a treat worthy of a Prince. Or a Princess.
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup millet flour
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger or GF pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup organic coconut oil
2 organic free-range eggs, beaten
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla
1 rounded cup chopped walnuts
For the streusel topping:
1/4 cup organic light brown sugar
2 tablespoons brown rice flour or coconut flour
1-2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add in the coocnut oil and beat until crumbly. Add in the eggs, pumpkin and vanilla, and beat until the batter is smooth and sticky- about two minutes. Add in the walnuts and stir to combine.
Spoon the batter into twelve muffin cups, filling them close to the top. Smooth the tops using the back side of a wet teaspoon.
Combine the streusel topping ingredients with a fork, or by rubbing the mixture with your hands. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the muffins.
Bake in the center of the oven till domed and firm, about 22 to 25 minutes. A wooden pick inserted into the center should emerge clean.
Cool briefly, then remove the muffins from the pan, and cool them on a wire rack. (This helps keep their bottoms from getting soggy.)
Serve warm with a schmear of vegan butter (or the real moo-cow thing, if you prefer). These would also be fab with cream cheese.
Wrap and freeze leftover muffins for easy on-the-go treats.
Cook time: 23 min
Yield: One dozen muffins
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NOTE: I'm now using less brown rice and brown rice flour, and eating fewer rice cakes, etc. Here's why- there is elevated arsenic in rice.
For substitution help, please see my guide to baking with substitutions here.