This weekend I made orange chocolate oatmeal muffins both mornings. Saturday I dropped half of them (on the floor and in the oven) and promised to make them again because they were so delicious. I have been using cooked oatmeal in my muffins for a long time and it makes the softest texture. I admit I don’t follow a recipe anymore but it’s something like this:
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup or less sugar
1 tsp cinnamon, or spice
1/2 cup or more cooked oatmeal
1/4 cup oil or 2 tbsp butter
handful chocolate chips
juice of squeezed orange
zest of orange
1/3 cup or more milk
Bake at 425 degrees for 15 mins.
Change the flavors with fruit and spices. When using wet ingredients like coconut milk or pumpkin puree I will need less milk.
We have been visiting the Gardens of Lake Merritt since we moved here when Emma turned two.
She has always wanted to grow up and be a helper in the bonsai garden.
The master gardeners have been very patient with her and over the years invited her to watch and learn.
During the pandemic she showed up a lot more often, willing to help out in any way she could. There was lots of sweeping and raking leaves which she loved.
Now they give her small jobs like weeding with tweezers. She likes being trusted with the care of their special trees.
The docents and gardeners are mostly older and appreciate her eagerness. They tell me she is very polite and always welcome.
For a child who is stuck at home with her parents it is a blessing to learn from someone new, and to see others faces light up when she visits.