December 18, 2007

Speed Up or Get Out Of the Way

This past weekend Toronto was hit with a snowstorm. Given the fact that I’m from further north where winter storms are a weekly affair, I didn’t consider it that big of a deal. I have no problem with the snow, only with how people deal with it. When it snows in the city there’s nowhere to put it, so it piles up, reduces traffic to one lane and eventually becomes a dirty, slushy mess. The city tries to get rid of the snow but unless you live on a main route you’re pretty much screwed and had better develop some serious shoveling skills if you want to get around. Throwing bags of salt on anything that looks like snow seems to be a popular way of dealing with the problem but it’s not what I recommend. All that does is stain the bottom of my pants and I hate salt stains.

The other thing that drives me crazy is that the sidewalks are always the last thing to be cleared. I walk everywhere so this is a major issue. The sidewalks, even on main roads have been reduced to one walking lane, making it necessary to trudge along single file with nary an opportunity to pass. If I’m leading the line, it’s alright, but if I get stuck behind a slow walker I am not happy. Slow Walkers take on various forms. There’s the “I’m Scared of Snow” Slow Walker who seems to have forgotten how to walk now that there’s snow on the ground and takes nothing but baby steps, much to my annoyance. This time of year there’s the “I’m Carrying 17 Bags of Christmas Presents and Can Barely Move” Slow Walker who is not only walking ridiculously slow but they are also unaware of anyone around them and will quite frequently hit people with their packages without ever knowing it. And let’s not forget the “We’re A Group of Loud, Giggly School Girls” Slow Walkers who take up the entire street, walk so slowly they’re almost in reverse and talk about subjects so trivial that you feel dumber for having heard their conversation. All I want to do is push the Slow Walkers into a snow bank so that I can speed by them, is that wrong? I have yet to do this but really it’s only a matter of time before I snap and start driving a zamboni down Toronto’s sidewalks. If you see me, be sure to wave.

These muffins have nothing to do with the dreaded Slow Walkers but they’re perfect for a mid afternoon snack or when you need some energy before facing slushy sidewalks and the human turtles who are occupying them. And you know what? They’re pretty good for you too!

Bri’s Snacking Muffins (Adapted from Living the G.I. Diet by Rick Gallop)

1 cup whole flake oats

½ cup bran cereal

¼ tsp salt

½ cup boiling water

1 + ½ cup buttermilk

½ cup dried prunes,.chopped

½ cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg

¼ cup canola oil

1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour

1 ¼ tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

Grease or line 12 muffin cups and preheat oven to 375F.

In a bowl, combine oatmeal, bran cereal and salt. Pour over the boiling water and stir to combine. Stir in 1 cup buttermilk, prunes, and cranberries and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together sugar, egg and oil. Stir into the oatmeal mixture.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Pour bran mixture along with the other ½ cup buttermilk into the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Pour into prepared tin and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a tester inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

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Alisa said...

Let me know if you need a co-pilot (or zamboni equivalent) ... I hate slow walkers! Thanks for the giggle : )

Manggy said...

Oh, the slow walkers are everywhere! I would say that I think of even worse things to do to them, but for now I'll demur and say "Oh my, Brilynn! How shockingly violent!" :)

Meeta said...

Slow walkers - yup I know what you mean. Very irritating especially when you have big bags of shopping and a kid in tow and all you want to do is get to the car, which happens to be a few meters away. Anyway, as you see I could go on too - but these muffins do brighten the day!

Peabody said...

Way to healthy for me Bri! But I was amused by your slow walkers.

Dana said...

Oh, I toootally understand. I live in DC, and if so much as a flurry falls out of the sky, the city starts freaking out and all hell breaks loose. All rules of the road cease to exist, and the slow walkers rear their ugly heads. It's like a license to be a total spaz -- drives me nuts. These muffins, however, look wonderful!

Veron said...

Well you sure know how to brighten the day with those muffins. I had to laugh at your slow-walker story

Deborah said...

Even though I don't walk everywhere, I know what you are talking about. That's why I hate going to the mall - I can't stand maneuvering around everyone! Your muffins look wonderful!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Bri, they look wonderful and to know they're healthy is great!

Julie said...

Bri, I love a good healthy muffin! I like trying new combos of flours and grains. I'm going to save this for after the holidays when I want something nutritious. I'll probably use raisins as a mix-in.

Bri said...

I just found your site and have been paging through it for a while now... I must say I'm impressed. Thanks for all the great recipes (especially the ice creams)! Love from one Bri to another, Brianne

Lydia said...

I'm hanging my head as I write this, but I am one of those dreaded slow walkers. One bad fall on black ice a few years ago has made me really paranoid about ice under the snow. But I'd probably speed up if I knew there were delicious muffins waiting for me on the other end!

Cakespy said...

When my husband and I encounter slow walkers, we whistle under our breath at each other, in a reference to the "idiot wind" blowing (like the Bob Dylan song). However I think if I had a muffin like this in my hand while walking, I might slow my pace a bit.

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Brilynn, I know exactly what you mean about slow walkers. I live in a community with LOTS of retirees with nowhere to go. They just meander along, oblivious to everything around them, especially in the market. They can shop anytime, but they always manage to clog up the aisles between 4 and 6, when all the working folks need to shop. It drives me crazy!

emiglia said...

Oh god, I remember that time of year. We don't get snow in Paris, but if I remember correctly, I used to stuff my jeans into some snow boots and brave the snow drifts to pass the slow walkers. If I kicked some snow up on them *accidentally*... well, they shouldn't have been walking so slow.

When I'm stuck behind slow walkers, I can't help but hum the Get Set Go song "I Hate Everyone." DBF and I call it the Festivus song.

Cheryl said...

Now I know what the daring bakers should do. All chip in and buy you your very own Zamboni.

And when we do then you can send us all some snack muffins.

Lyra said...

lol. I was amused by Peabody's comment because I was thinking that these actually look like the healthiest muffins that you have ever posted (well, lately anyways), and that I would have to give them a try and see if they were yummy. Ironically I just posted one of my most UN-healthy muffin recipes, which I just invented. They are delicious though.

Slow walkers...I grew up in a land of slow walkers. In the tropics, fast walking is not encouraged, especially when its hot out. So when I moved to DC, it was interesting adapting to the high speed with which EVERYTHING is done. Now I find myself walking fast too, although when I go home it will be nice to relax and meander along without all the rushing and pushing and shoving. (And being bumped into by people on cell phones/ipods/other electronic devices that appear to be permenantly welded to the side of their heads).

Katy said...

Here in Manhattan we have another group of Slow Walkers -- the tourist-who's-never-been-to-NYC-before slow walker. You can recognize them because they walk around (slowly) craning their heads upwards to look at the skyscrapers. They're particularly prevalent in Times Square and Rockefeller Center. You can imagine how I feel about them. ;-)

Norah said...

Hi there....found your site through some other food blogs and was reading your post and saw that you are from "North of Toronto." Where from? I live just outside of North Bay.