As this is being written in mid-November we haven’t yet had a good hard freeze. I’m still picking chard, broccoli and some herbs too.
Some of our B and B guests, here to check out the area for retirement, have asked about the climate. When and how cold it gets. Our usual answer is a series of dates: Mid September, a light freeze — you can still cover and save most of the garden. Didn’t happen. Mid October, a hard freeze; covering won’t save most vegetables. Again, didn’t happen. Mid November — first good snow in the mountains. Sort of happened, but melted. And finally, mid December, snow down here in the valleys. Maybe that will happen; maybe it won’t, but in any case, it has gotten noticeably warmer in the last 30 odd years since we’ve been gardening here on the ranch. And the snow pack, when it comes, is higher and there’s less of it because more moisture is coming as rain, not snow.
Global warming is real. Jacques Cousteau was right. There’s virtually no doubt about it. We must learn to deal with it. And we must encourage lawmakers and others to support the Paris Accords, alternative energy initiatives, and other like minded efforts.
As of this writing, there are three things I’m really tired of: negative politics, robo calls about free cruises to somewhere, and pumpkin-spice anything. So, as I mentioned, comfort food for troubling times — and no pumpkin — spice. (Don’t get me wrong, I like pumpkin pie as much as anyone). This recipe will give you a breather from all the holiday hype. I almost always prefer to use seasonal ingredients, but the fixings for this banana coconut muffin are available year round.
BANANA COCONUT MUFFINS WITH TOASTED COCONUT STREUSEL
This recipe makes 12 medium muffins and can be doubled easily. It freezes well — just defrost and warm in a 200-degree oven for a few minutes. Prepare muffin tins (I use papers), and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Ingredients for streusel
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons cold, not frozen, butter
1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes
Directions for streusel
Mix streusel ingredients until the butter is in smaller-than-pea size lumps. Don’t over mix. Make the streusel and set aside. This is really easy and quick to do if you have a small Cuisinart type mixer. Otherwise, just use a pastry blender or your fingers.
Ingredients for muffins
In a large bowl, mix well:
1 large well ripened banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a smaller bowl, mix and then add to above wet mixture:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon each salt, nutmeg and cloves
Directions for muffins
Fill prepared muffin tins about 2/3 full. Top with streusel, and bake 20-25 minutes in a 375-degree oven. Serve warm.
David and Muffy Vhay own Deer Run Ranch Bed and Breakfast. Contact the ranch at 775-882-3643.