In which I am on deadline

I know you know. But I feel compelled to point out that I am revising like a FIEND right now, and completely fresh bloggery is beyond me. (I have some superb entries planned about process once the book is turned in!) Anyway, my deadline is January 15, and this book is coming along swimmingly, but it’s taking a great deal of focus–the sort of focus that leaves me mentally shredded when I’m finished. In our house, this is referred to as book brain. It got so bad during one set of revisions that I told my husband something he was looking for was “on the big flat thing in the bedroom.” “You mean the bed?” “I forgot the word.” Yeah.

So, I’m offering up a repost of a few bits from last January in case you missed them–including a recipe for Baked Oatmeal Bars that are YUM.

January 2014. So today I have a recipe for you and some dead folks. Yeah, I know. Pretty random, but we’re under five inches of snow here–nothing for those of you accustomed to it, but our town is shut down–and I’m in a random frame of mind.

A pal of mine sent me this link to Victorian bereavement photography that is vastly intriguing. If you’re not familiar, photographing the dead used to be quite common. Oftentimes, the funeral photograph was the only likeness the family would have of their loved one, particularly in the case of children. I like these vintage photographs for their peek into a different world where death was no less tragic but closer somehow than it seems today. We’re terribly squeamish about death, particularly in the US, and these photographs are a reminder that it wasn’t always the case. As one Facebook commenter remarked when I posted this there, it seems a healthier way of processing loss. (I like the older gentleman with the graying beard–he looks quite peaceful.)

Now to the recipe. I’ve been eating buckets of oatmeal lately and wanted something different–more like a bar and less a bowl of porridge. So I did a little googling and a little tinkering and here’s what I came up with:

Baked Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

1 1/2 c quick cooking oats

1 c flour

1 t baking powder

1/4 c sugar

1/2 t salt

3/4 t cinnamon

Mix dry ingredients. Add:

1 beaten egg

1/2 c milk

1/4 c oil

Stir together. Add:

1/4 c raisins.

Turn into a greased square baking dish. Bake 350 for 25 minutes.

Now to the particulars: I used gluten-free flour, grapeseed oil, and coconut milk–the refrigerated kind rather than the canned stuff. The refrigerated variety of coconut milk tastes MUCH less like coconut. In fact, I can’t taste it at all. You could sub almond milk or soy or regular cow’s milk if that’s your thing. Any oil would probably work; grapeseed is what I had on hand. A grating of fresh nutmeg would probably be delicious, and some nuts might not go amiss. You could throw in some dried cranberries or cherries if you prefer them to raisins. The result is a cross between a breakfast bar and a scone and not terribly sweet. Perfect with tea and VERY yummy hot out of the oven! Plus, nothing smells better than cinnamon…