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Apples in Fall | Vermont | Robyn | Plum Cove Cottage

Apples in Fall | Vermont | Robyn | Plum Cove Cottage

A Thanksgiving Vignette from Ashley, Meta Street Cafe

It was Thanksgiving and I stood in the wind, ready to pull the roasted turkey from the insulating cooler to a foldable table set on the sand.  Side dishes were, also, tightly wrapped in tin foil to keep warm.  As we ate, dolphins swam in the waters, jumping from time to time off the beach in Malibu.

I had seen dolphins like this before.  In Baja, Mexico paddling through waterways made narrow by mangrove forests, I could see only piles of exposed roots and greenery of the forest, the clear water, and the sky.  As sea water spilled off our paddles, dolphins swam from behind, dove under our boats, and came up the other side, swimming down the channel. Dolphins splashed along the shoreline adjacent to our campsite through that night.

Traditional holiday meals are grounding. We return to family and foods and places that hold meaning for us.

In recent years, we have made waffles in our backyard garden and potlucked at a family avocado ranch.  But, that year we brought Thanksgiving to the beach, Easter brunch was neatly packed in backpacks and displayed on a table under the trees after a walk to the rock pools of Malibu Creek State Park.  Mother’s Day was wrapped sandwiches in the Sespe Wilderness, and, for Father’s Day, we carried baskets full of food down the hillside trail, spreading out a picnic blanket beside the ocean.

This year I give thanks for outdoor spaces, wildlife encounters, & family picnics and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. 🦃

Easter Brunch Picnic | Malibu Creek State Park | Meta Street Cafe

Easter Brunch Picnic | Malibu Creek State Park | 2006 | Meta Street Cafe

Thanksgiving on the Beach | 2006 | | Malibu, CA | Meta Street Cafe

Thanksgiving on the Beach | 2006 | | Malibu, CA | Meta Street Cafe

Curried Squash Soup from Robyn, Plum Cove Cottage

This is our favorite fall and winter soup. The cilantro gives it the finishing touch. It includes apples and is delicious with homemade Applesauce!  Make it after an apple picking day, pack it for a holiday picnic, or eat it by the fireplace at home.

Curried Squash Soup Recipe

Heat 1 tbl oil in pan

Add 2 chop onion 1 tbl curry,

1 tbl brown sugar 4 cloves garlic

6 cups (2 pkgs) peeled, cut up butternut squash

1-2 cups water 2 cups veg broth

3-4 peeled chopped apples dash salt
Simmer ½-1 hr til tender.

Blend in blender with 1 bunch washed cilantro

When ready to heat and eat add 2/3 cup cream
Garnish with cilantro

Applesauce + Curried Squash Soup | Robyn Plum Cove Cottage

Applesauce + Curried Squash Soup | Robyn Plum Cove Cottage

Apples in Fall | Vermont | Robyn | Plum Cove Cottage

Apples in Fall | Vermont | Robyn | Plum Cove Cottage

Applesauce from Robyn, Plum Cove Cottage

Bring 2 cups apple juice to boil
Add 12 apples peeled and cored and lower heat
Cook tightly covered for 10 minsAdd ½ c honey, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp nutmeg, ¼ tsp cloves

Sarah's son, Thorin, "The Muffin Man" | Sarah | Summerland Kitchen

Sarah’s son, Thorin, “The Muffin Man” | Sarah | Summerland Kitchen

Maple Sweet Pumpkin Muffins with Oats from Sarah, Summerland Kitchen

A packable picnic food, we have made these muffins twice already this season, and they have been a big hit.  I always sing to Thorin, “Do you know the muffin man, the muffin man, the muffin man? Do you know the muffin man who lives on Golden Gate?”. Golden Gate is the street we live on 🙂

We baked ours in mini muffin tins and took them to Thorin’s school for a fun fall snack. They are sweetened with pure maple syrup and no one missed the sugar at all. Stewart said they were superb. They were very easy to make, only required one bowl. We substituted 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice for the spices called for in the recipe. Also we skipped sprinkling the tops with oats.

Maple Sweet Pumpkin Muffins with Oats Recipe
Serves: 10 muffins

1⁄3 cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil 1⁄2 cup maple syrup or honey, 2 eggs*, at room temperature, 1 cup pumpkin purée
1⁄4 cup milk of choice (I used almond milk) 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top 1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1⁄4 teaspoon allspice or cloves, 13⁄4 cups whole wheat pastry flour or regular whole wheat flour 1⁄3 cup old-fashioned oats, plus more for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius). If necessary, grease ten cups of your muffin tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray (my pan is non-stick and didn’t require any grease).

In a large bowl, beat the oil and maple syrup or honey together with a whisk. Add eggs, and beat well. Mix in the pumpkin purée and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice or cloves.
Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix with a large spoon, just until combined. If you’d like to add any additional mix-ins, like nuts, chocolate or dried fruit, fold them in now.
Divide the batter evenly between the ten muffin cups. For these muffins, it’s ok to fill the cups a little higher than you normally would. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats, followed by a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Bake muffins for 23 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.  If using minim muffin tins reduce oven temperature by 50 degrees and bake for about 8-10 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack. These muffins are delicate until they cool down (you have been warned!), so it’s best to wait until they have cooled down to remove them from the tin. You might need to run a butter knife along the outer edge of the muffins to loosen them from the pan. Enjoy muffins as is or with a spread of nut butter or regular butter.

Recipe from cookieandkate.com