Weird. It’s the only word I can come up with to describe this week. Monday, well, Monday we moved in. I went to bed in a room with boxes stacked up to the ceiling. Tuesday we had an entirely unexpected snow day. Wednesday…we had another snow day. Then, after our strange weekend-within-a-school-week, we had two school days, and now we’re here. Add to that grandparents visiting and helping unpack for Tuesday and Wednesday, meals made by various people eaten in numerous places, very slow internet access, a variably warm and cold house, a bus that now comes at 7:00 in the morning…. Ay! It’s a whole lot of stuff to take in. And the whole week, the whole entire time, I just wanted to walk into an organized kitchen and make this coconut bread.
But of course, no such luck. True, though I may not have had time for coconut bread, I did have time for something known as reading. I was once well-aquainted with such a pastime, but recently my readings have been The American Pagaent and Jane Eyre. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jane Eyre, and the American Pagaent’s strange metaphors about the Mexican War are entertaining in the strangest of ways, but…I’ve already read through Jane Eyre twice, and by page 765 in my history textbook, our already tepid relationship has turned decidedly sour (so much that I even skipped the last chapter, instead opting for the online notes!). So, the good thing is, I’ve been reading other things, specifically a riveting science fiction novel involving Jesuit priests who visit an alien planet in the galaxy Alpha Centauri. Doesn’t that sound appealing? I love it.
Despite all the weirdness, the location of the place we now inhabit is quite beautiful, and surprisingly peaceful. Set back from the road a bit, and lacking any streetlights, it’s quieter than ever each night, and you can see a surprising number of stars. We’re right on a stream, and a smaller brook that runs into the stream I’ve now taken up to test for water-quality. Just this afternoon, we found some animal tracks in the snow outside; thinking they might belong to something wild, we investigated. They’re likely from a domestic dog. Naturally.
Either way, though I’m not fond of the uncertainty, I have enjoyed the paradox that this week has presented. It’s overwhelming and it isn’t. We know we’re going to love this place. Thus, moving in has been less awful and more of an adventure that we can enjoy by reveling in the newness of our circumstances. Soon enough they’ll just be what is, and though more certain, that can be a wee bit boring.
These muffins aren’t in the least boring though. I’d been pining for the coconut bread on Smitten Kitchen, all until I realized we didn’t have a bread pan. Thus, I instead adapted her double coconut muffins to be gluten-free, dairy-free, and wonderfully scrumptious. As noted below, the recipe I’m relaying to you isn’t exactly what I did myself. I made a few changes to the one below because mine were slightly wet and gummy, I think the changes will help. If not, just let me know!
Gluten-free Triple Coconut Muffins
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 1 dozen
Note: Alright, so I went to the store looking for extra-virgin coconut oil and accidentally picked up refined coconut oil. As you surely know, such oil is devoid of any coconut flavor. Thus, some of the ingredients in the recipe are optional, dependent on what type of coconut oil you have. I’ve changed what I was going to write for the recipe in response to how the recipe turned out. I’ve reduced the xantham gum amount a bit (mine were a little gummy) and think it would be good for you to top the muffins with a little shredded coconut before baking. Also, I upped the amount of flour just a bit.
1 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1/6 cup tapioca starch (To do this, empty the third cup potato starch into a 1/2 cup container, then top it off with tapioca starch)
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil (either virgin or refined, depending on what is available)
1 cup coconut milk (not from a can, the coconut milk you would drink), room temp.
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons coconut rum (if no virgin coconut oil)
1 large egg
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut (Reserve 1/4 cup to top muffins)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or line a muffin pan.
Mix together coconut milk, vanilla, egg, and rum (if using), in a small bowl.
In a small saucepan, heat the coconut oil until it just melts. When you add it to the flours it should be barely warm. Add to the flours and beat until well-combined.
Add the liquid mixture and beat on high until well-mixed. Add in shredded coconut, reserving 1/4 cup of however much you use to top the muffins.
Portion out batter into muffin pan and then top each with a little of the 1/4 cup of extra coconut.
Bake for 15 minutes or so; the muffins themselves won’t really brown, but the coconut should. Allow to cool completely (in pan or on a cooling rack) before serving.