In the So Many Fairies story “The Tree That Surprised the Wind,” a Maple tree elf has had enough. He is tired of the wind coming every year and knocking down his beautiful golden leaves. So he devises a plan: this year his tree will surprise the wind and shake of its own accord. He smiles to think of teaching the wind a lesson, but in the end it is he that learns the lesson that one must not meddle with the nature of the wind.
I, for one, am with the Maple tree elf. I could spend eternity taking walks under the fall leaves, so when the wind steals them away too quickly, I’m always a little sad. And then it creeps into my coat collar, too—brrrr!
There’s only one antidote for that cold wind — a hot dish of baked oatmeal.
In tribute to the beautiful—and quite useful—Maple tree, the recipe below is sweetened with maple syrup. I also like to brown the butter used for greasing the pan to give the oatmeal just a little bit of an additional nutty flavor.
Maple and Browned Butter Baked Oatmeal
½ stick butter
2 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup brown sugar
¾ cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small skillet, melt the butter gently until it starts to brown.
Meanwhile, combine the dry ingredients in one bowl and stir them together. In a smaller bowl, mix the wet ingredients and whisk them well. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
Carefully pour the browned butter into a small baking dish. Tilt the dish from side to side to grease the bottom and edges, then pour in the oatmeal mixture. Some of the butter will pool up on top of the oatmeal, but that’s OK.
Bake the oatmeal for 25 minutes, or until the edges start to brown.
This recipe makes a toothy, chewy oatmeal, but if you like yours mushier, add and extra ½ cup of milk and bake for 10-15 minutes longer.
Serve with a little cream and a tiny drizzle of extra maple syrup.
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred year old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two pre-schoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion--showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun--in her weekly Sparkle Kitchen posts.
When Meryl isn't writing for Sparkle Kitchen, you can find her on her personal blog, My Bit of Earth, where she writes about chickens, babies, knitting, gardening, food, photography, and whatever else tickles her fancy on any given day.