Patty Pan Muffins
Sorry to interrupt the travelogue, but I think we all need a food-tastic interlude. One of the important things that happened to me during the trip was that I learned to love myself. I know that sounds like a big concept or a strange answer to “what did you do this summer,” but more than anything, the trip gave me a chance to slow down, think about a lot of things going on in my life, and reprioritize what’s important to me.
Part of that reprioritizing meant remembering what’s almost the most important thing in my life: cooking. Ok, you’re thinking, that’s a no-brainer, after all, this is a food blog. You might have noticed though, that I wasn’t updating so much this summer, that I was fairly absent in the blog world, only managing to pop into you all’s blogs every now and then. It wasn’t because I wasn’t a full-fledged vegan. It was because cooking for a living took over my life. I quit exercising. I quit cooking for myself (no, pasta does not count). I couldn’t sleep at night. I took it all far too personal. And that’s not going to happen anymore.
I didn’t quit my job–in fact, I’m fully immersed in it these days. We’re looking forward to opening up our kitchen (fully certified now!) for private lunches & catering events, and we’ll be open on Saturdays after market ends on October 30, selling local meats, our trout, local cheese, local produce, and my prepared products. It’s exciting, it’s a lot to think about, and I’m not letting it take over my life. I’m swimming again at the YMCA, I’ve reorganized my schedule to set hours (manageable hours), I’m focusing on traveling (Philly in two weeks!), and I’m cooking and baking again in my own cabin.
With some patty pan squash in the fridge beggging to be used in something besides pasta (too. much. pasta. this summer) and three overripe bananas sitting in my fruit bowl, I got to thinking about a sweet bread, one incorporating lots of locally milled grain, bananas, squash, and chocolate (everything needs chocolate). After checking to see if anyone else had made a patty pan bread, I armed myself with the produce and Metal Vegan’s recipe and set to work at the mixer to see what would happen.
I’m not going to lie and say that the recipe was a rip-roaring success. In fact, it was a humbling afternoon and one that reminded me that practice makes perfect, not just love and well wishes. With tweaking the recipe totally works, but as a first-go it was far too moist (the combo of bananas & squash became extremely wet in the oven). However, the taste rocked my world! I’m a huge fan of chunking bakers chocolate into cookies & breads instead of using chocolate chips, and in this case, the bigger the chunks the better since they kept their shape in the batter. The squash & bananas, though hard to work with the oven, lended a pleasant moistness to the muffins, and I love the super spiciness to them–they’re the perfect interlude between high summer and early fall. So was it my perfect back-to-the-kitchen dream? No, but it’s good to be back!
Patty Pan Muffins
adapted from Metal Vegan
3 overripe bananas, mashed
1 c brown sugar
1 c turbinado sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
3/4 c soymilk + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
2 c freshly milled rye flour
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 c patty pan squash, shredded
4 oz semi-sweet baker’s chocolate, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350.
In a small bowl, whisk the apple cider vinegar into the soy milk and let sit for 10 minutes to curdle.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the bananas, sugars, oil, and vanilla. Add the soy milk.
Slowly mix in the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices until a thick batter forms.
Stir in the squash and chocolate.
Line muffin tins with paper or spray with oil. Spoon the batter into the tins and bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown, and when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool for 20 minutes, then enjoy!
Makes 2 dozen medium-sized muffins.