Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Saturday Morning

On Saturday, I woke up and had a day ahead of me.

It was one of the first weekend days I'd had in New York without having planned it ahead of time. Usually when I'm met with free time, I do one of three things: 1) go for a walk/explore, 2) cook, or 3) freak out cause I have free time and don't know what to do with myself.

I was close to choosing option 3, but option 2 was just too tempting.

Anybody who's ever stayed with me has realized my slightly obsessive love for pancakes, which really stems from the fact that with a plain batter, you can really add anything to them, something I think is so much fun: apples, pears, banannas, chocolate, walnuts.... I've even made them for dinner with potatoes, artichokes, cheese, and ham in them, topped with syrup. I had a tummy ache for days after, but it was worth it.

One of my favorite anecdotes about pancakes is from a documentary I once saw called "I Like Killing Flies", which is about this absolutely crazy guy who owns a restaurant in Grenwich village called Shopsin's (which now that I think about it, I should go check out since I'm in the city). I won't go into details about how this guy is crazy, but in the doc he talks about all the different kinds of pancakes he makes, including Postmodern Pancakes. He basically makes a plain pancake, dices it up and puts it back into the batter of a new pancake. It's such a funny and great idea that it makes me love pancakes even more for making it possible.

However, I didn't make pancakes this time. Ever since I was little, I always loved the idea of waking up on the weekends to something freshly baked. And since I had the time and the carrots (left over from the soup), I made carrot muffins for breakfast this wonderful Saturday morning (the recipe for which I got off of this website).

Carrot Raisin Muffins

Makes about 10 muffins
2 eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 ts baking powder
1/4 ts salt
1 1/2 ts cinnamon
1/2 ts ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Grease muffin pan.
Whisk eggs, oil and sugar together. Mix in the carrots and raisins. Stir together the remaining ingredients in another bowl. Add the flour mixture to the carrot mixture and stir to combine. (This is a stiff batter.) Spoon the mixture into muffin cups. Bake about 15 to 20 minutes until tester comes out clean.
While I ate the muffins, I watched Engel Entertainment's last feature documentary, "A Walk to Beautiful." Engel is one of the two places I intern and is also a place I'd really, really like to work largely because the work they do is so great. The film was all about women in Ethiopia who get Fistula as a result of not being close enough to proper medical care when giving birth. As a result, they get ostracized from their communities, since they don't know about the cure. A single simple surgery can cure them, and there's a clinic in Addis Ababa that performs 1200 of these procedures a year. It's incredible how such a simple thing can completely and utterly change someone's life for the better. I hereby recommend this film to everyone; it's such an important topic.
The muffins turned out pretty good, except for the fact that they weren't as fluffy as they could've been because I only had butter in the house, no veggie oil. They were great fresh out of the oven with strawberry jam and earl grey tea...
I love Saturday mornings like these.

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