The boys headed out on an early morning ride. Snowmobile, not horses… yet. We’re close, and I’m counting the hours, but for now, we’re getting the most out of the last of the snow. It is melting, the ground is warming, so they must leave early and be home by noon before the snow rots and makes travel all but impossible. But they’re up for an adventure, and have me wake them just as the crescent moon clears the mountain to the east (I consider that another cycle has passed; the sky is my reminder, my calendar), the sun still a ways behind. They pack and dress in the quiet early morning hours that I usually tip toe about the cabin alone; Bob still and silent, sipping his coffee by the fire; Forrest noiselessly drifting about with a headlamp on to light his way. Me… under the glow of the gas lamp, preparing a good, hot meal for them before sending them off into the early morning cold.
For 15 years or so, my mother stressed the importance of starting the day off with a healthy breakfast, but somehow I didn’t get it. Then for the next 15 years or so of my life, I simply didn’t have the time. Once moving up here, in this elevation, I discovered not only the importance, but the absolute necessity of breakfast. One burns more calories just being up here. Living and working and running around as we do up at nearly 10,000 feet elevation, without breakfast, we would fade by mid morning at best, or become somewhat nauseous by noon at worst… it’s worth taking the time to eat!
Scrambled eggs with muffins are a great way to start the day. Muffins are tasty enough to be considered a treat, but rather simple to make. I use the disposable paper cups to save on clean up, and it helps the muffins stay fresh and whole when packed for snacks, or kept in the freezer for a morning I don’t have time to bake.
Here’s my basic muffin recipe. I throw in whatever I’m lucky enough to find around the house that sounds tasty on that given morning. This morning, I used dried blueberries, a treat my mom often brings us. Last week, I tossed in a ripe, mashed banana (my sister sent two home in a care package after our last trip to the big city); some chopped pecans (still remaining from the gift from our Texas neighbors); and a few handfuls of chocolate chips (at Forrest’s request). Another combo I really like is dried cranberries, coconut, and more of those pecans.
In a medium sauce pan, slowly melt:
1/3 cup (or 2/3 stick) of butter.
Remove from heat and stir in (yes, right into the sauce pan):
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
A dash of nutmeg
Stir together well, then add your “mix ins”
1 cup dried blueberries
1 mashed banana, 2/3 cup chopped pecans, 2/3 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup dried cranberries, 2/3 cup flaked/sweetened coconut, 2/3 cup chopped pecans
Whatever else you have and want to experiment with!
Pour batter into muffin cups, each about ¾ full as they’ll rise a lot. Sprinkle the top generously with cinnamon sugar. Then bake in a medium hot oven (about 350 degrees) for probably 25 minutes to ½ hour. Keep an eye on them. The tops should end up puffed, crackled open, and golden brown. I double pan always so that I do not burn the bottoms. You may not need to do this in lower elevations.
Let cool a couple minutes in the tray, then lift and tilt each muffin sideways, leaving them in the tray to cool.
I hope you try and enjoy!