Moving to a new city means squeezing one’s life into suitcases and boxes. It happened a few times in my life, and it is happening again soon. There is no complaint in my words –I am actually thrilled to embark in this new adventure. Rather, there is a little nostalgia for all the things I will leave and can’t bring with me. For much that I try to be a simplifier, I keep accumulating things, surrounding myself with objects that embellish and create some atmosphere. I don’t know why I do it –buying books and kitchen utensils among others –when I am absolutely aware that I won’t be able to take them with me into my next home town and new chapter of my errand life.
I find myself being envious of those beautiful collections of cutlery and dishes I see on Pinterest. I think: “I won’t ever be able to have this”. I keep dreaming about a house that won’t probably exist outside my head for a long time, if ever. A house filled with books collected over the years, with pieces brought back from trips around the world, with personal touches here and there.
Books are hard to bring along because they are heavy and take lots of room in a suitcase. However, I will never convert to a kindle –sorry, there is simply no comparison. I prefer to leave physical books at my parents’ house, knowing that sooner or later I will put my hands on them again, rather than having the digital version of them. There are some favorites that I never leave behind: fiction books like Norwegian Wood and Mrs Dalloway, essays like The Art of Travel and a few cookbooks. I have many cookbooks and I keep buying more pushed by curiosity, pictures or just trends, but I always find myself cooking from the same old trusted ones.
One of the cookbooks I inspired myself the most from during this past year is Super Natural Everyday by Heidi Swanson. I am sure you heard about it or even have it on your shelves. I think it is a brilliant book and a true source of genius ideas for everyday cooking. I think J and I tried 80% of the recipes during our stay in Bra and we liked them all. They are simple and yet never banal, and very versatile and adaptable to what one has in the fridge and kitchen shelves. In a word, they are homey. This is surely one of the books that will come with me, ready to be taken out of the suitcase upon our arrival. It will surely help us to feel immediately at home wherever we will be.
Lately I tried both muffin recipes contained in the book, one with millet and one with bran cereal. I had them bookmarked since a while and last week I finally made them with the excuse to leave some for my family while I was away in Berlin. Both versions turned out astonishing –unique and with a great depth of flavor. I took one of each with me on the airplane and they made for the perfect traveler’s snack. I will probably make some more for the next trip, toward a destination that J. and I would love to call home for a while.
- 2 1/4 cup whole wheat (pastry) flour
- 1/3 cup raw millet (I used 1/2 cup)
- 1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine-gran sea salt
- 1 cup plain organic yogurt
- 2 organic eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup barely melted butter
- 1/2 cup raw honeygrated zest
- 2 T juice from 1 organic lemon
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, millet, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, eggs, honey, butter and lemon zest and juice. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and stir until the flour is just incorporated. Do not over-mix. Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling a bit below the rim. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the muffins are cooked through and tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool five minutes in the muffin pan, than turn muffins out of the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.
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