I may just be getting a little ahead of myself here, folks. Saturday marks the first official day of winter (pshaw, first), and here I am already looking forward to spring. Now don’t get me wrong, I do love winter, I mean we did move to the north woods. But here’s the thing, the biggest draw for moving way, way, way out to the country was the idea of being able to grow ALL the things.
While we’ll never have acres of tillable land out here in the woods, we do have a huge garden already, we’re talking almost 450 square feet of raised beds, with plans to add another 60 square feet this spring. And that’s the idea, every couple of years, we’ll add more beds and eventually a permanent greenhouse (though that’s all Himself). There are few things I love more than digging in the dirt with the sun beating down on my back. And I love the idea of expanding and expanding and expanding. By the time we moved from the cities, most of the yard had already been taken up with various raised beds. It’ll be a long day from now, before I manage to take up all the space we’ve got here. So you can see why, depths of winter or no, the idea that the days will start lengthening incrementally come Sunday has me more than a little excited.
And as if to tease and tempt me with thoughts of spring, my first 2014 seed catalog arrived this week. And it’s not just a seed catalog, oh no, it’s a rare seed catalog. I have been pouring over this baby, analyzing growing times and heirloom strains. Dreaming of Thai eggplant and baby yellow cucumber, pattypan squash and green grape tomatoes. In just a few short months, I’m going to turn that sun porch into a veritable greenhouse.
Look at me getting all ahead of myself. You know, usually I manage to restrain these dreams of green growing things until at least February, and here it is not even Christmas. I do have a Christmas morning recipe here for you. If you’re looking to tide over those hungry, hungry guests of yours until the big feast, these muffins are sure to do the trick. The granola makes them a bit more substantial and filling than regular muffins. And with only maple syrup and raisins adding a touch of sweetness, they won’t feel so decadent (leaving plenty of room for those holiday cookies and pies). Serve the muffins warm from the oven with butter, and store any leftovers (as if!) in the refrigerator.
Mini granola pancake muffins
Adapted from Essential Everyday’s Mini Blueberry Pancake Muffins
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoon melted butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
¾ cup milk
1 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup raisins
¾ cup raisin and almond granola
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to batter and mix until well blended. Add raisins and granola.
Pour batter into greased mini muffin tins about ¾ full. Bake 15-17 minutes. Store muffins tightly covered in refrigerator.