Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Like a whirlpool - Barely Bran Muffins with Raisins

Dizzy!  I'm so dizzy, my head is spinning,
Like a whirlpool, it never ends

(Monday) Whoa!  What a morning. Trying to maintain a horizontal pose has been dicey here.  My balance is, how shall I put it, totally off, and not helped by the fact that not one floor in my house is level. The upstairs especially tilts precariously.  I don't know if this is because, over the past 90 years, the house has settled this way, or because the original builder was potted like a plant.  Either way, it is what it is, which is pretty funny most of the time, even when my balance is off and I'm a bit dizzy, as I am this morning.  I really love this house.

What I don't love this morning is having to go to court. Perhaps I need a break from the courtroom, with its inherent tension and inevitable drama.  That's not possible, of course; I am part of a team,  and we each have our own cases and our roles to play.  I am, in part, responsible for how this is done, because twnety years ago, when I took over as supervisor in the Brevard County office, I established that each attorney would handle their own cases, determined by alphabetic breakdown, from shelter to reunification or adoption.  Back in those days, we handled our own appeals as well, so our committment to each case was total and all-encompassing.  (Of course, when I transferred to Osceola County, I followed that paradigm as well.  I was the only attorney in the office, and had no choice.  Ha.  Talk about being hoisted on one's own petard.)

This was a change from the prevailing procedure, from when we had attorneys who only did the TPR trials, and in some counties in our district, specialization went further, with attorneys who only did shelters, arraignments, and judicial review hearings.

So here I am, wanting to head to the office to engage in a much-needed paper chase, but doomed to hobble into the courthouse for a judicial review.  Crap.  I meditated this morning, as I try to do most mornings, and it did not help.

It also did not help that my mother-in-law, who I love very much, is ill this morning and my son is taking her to her doctor or maybe possibly the hospital.  That also means my father-in-law, who I also love very much, is alone at home, as his mobility is severely limited.

I've been waiting over an hour for my 9:30 hearing.  Crap.  And whee! my head is still spinning, just enough to annoy me.  Hey, Head, I've got work to do!  Get your act together!

Okay, my morning went well.  And when I got back to the house to pick up my lunch, Cory reported that Grandma was okay, got treated, no hospital visit needed.  The witness lists are now done for all three trials, and passed along to Brenda, paralegal extraordinaire.  Seriously, the woman is amazing.

So I am here on time for my afternoon court.  It's astounding, time is fleeting. (Yes, madness takes it toll.) Crap. As the day goes on, that burst of energy that has carried me through the day so far is going to dissipate.  Hopefully I will be at home when that happens, and can land on my ass, if not my own couch, outside the sight of people whose opinion of my behavior really does matter.

Court finally ended at 6:20.  Let's do the Time Warp again, shall we?

Barely Bran Muffins with Raisins

1 box white cake mix
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup plain yogurt (2 - 5.3 oz. containers Chobani non-fat Greek yogurt)
1/2 cup canola oil
3 extra-large eggs
finely grated orange peel of one large orange
3 cups Post Raisin Bran
1/2 cup dark raisins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Wipe the top of the muffin pan with a paper towel sprayed with Pam.  Place a paper liner into each muffin cup.  Place the cereal into a one gallon ziptop plastic bag.  Press gently on the bag to crush the cereal flakes into smaller pieces.  It's not necessary to pulverize the cereal.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the dry cake mix, baking powder, and the flour.  In another large bowl, combine the yogurt, oil, eggs, and orange peel.  Stir in the crushed raisin bran, and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes until the cereal softens.  Stir in the dark raisins. Add the dry ingredients to the cereal-liquid-raisin mixture and stir together with a wooden spoon; don't worry if there are some lumps left.  Let the batter sit for five or six minutes, then stir a few more times.

Scoop into the lined muffin cups, dividing the batter evenly between the cups. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes in the preheated oven.  Let cool a few minutes, then remove the muffins to a metal rack to cool completely.

Makes 12 muffins.

I know, I've been promising these for a while ... finally managed to get them together tonight, despite the late quittin' time.  Easy commute home, you know.  Anyway, they turned out completely different from what I expected - nothing like a "real" bran muffin which is dark and deep and branny (is that even a word?) and somewhat oily. This is that bran muffin's sunny brother, light and bright from the kiss of orange zest and barely branny despite the 3 cups of flakes.  It's not oily at all, and the yogurt stops it from being too sweet, but still creates a beautiful crumb.

Never fear, I'm still working on one of those heavier bran muffins, made with All-Bran - but first, I feel a banana muffin in my future.  Your future.  Our future?  Stay tuned.

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