May dawned upon us this morning, and though the first day of a new month is always a time to begin anew, this one requires more than just whispering ‘rabbit, rabbit’ when you wake! Back in Oxford, May Morning is special. At dawn on May Day students stay up all night, or just wake up really early, and walk to stand beneath Magdalen Tower or on Magdalen Bridge. The Magdalen College Choir sings a hymn from the top of the tower to greet the dawn, and other music and festivities occur in the streets. Afterwards, people generally go to breakfast (and then sometimes back to bed, if they’ve been up all night after a ball – or they have to get on the river to train for Summer Eights!) My friends and I made the most of May Morning in our second year, when no one had exams in the summer term, and I still remember breakfasting afterwards at Patisserie Valerie on the High Street, everyone laughing and chatting companionably despite the sleep fogging our minds. There were lots of exciting times at Oxford, but that one stands out particularly in my memory because it was just so casual and normal, and yet so wonderful – one of the little moments that, strung together with a host of other good times, makes for the most wonderful memories.
This morning began with a run along the East River, and though I wasn’t up in time to watch the sun rise, I did get to see some lovely sights. Roosevelt Island always looks pretty from the path.
I love sailboats, so I always enjoy catching a glimpse. I’ve often thought the most peaceful place to think would be on a little boat (until I remembered you’d have to crew it by yourself!)
I’ll need to spend part of the day studying for my one final exam. In fact, this is the month when I graduate law school and begin to study for the bar. It’s unbelievable how fast time has flown. But I’m not letting the nostalgia for years past or anxiety for the future get in the way of enjoying this glorious weather!
April showers do indeed bring May flowers…
…and I’m enjoying all of them!
In fact, the brightness of the morning inspired me to create a special breakfast treat. I went to whip up a batch of muffins, wanting some that reflected the simple pleasure of a lovely start to the day. I began with the basic ingredients that most of my muffin recipes have in common. Gluten-free oats – always. Greek yogurt or milk and eggs – consistent parts of the mix. Cinnamon and maple syrup for sweetness and spice – also apparently indispensable! Whether I’m making bananas or berries the star of the muffin show, maple syrup makes itself necessary, so I decided to make it the centerpiece. I wound up with a batch of Morning Maple Muffins that would be entirely appropriate for a May Morning and Maple Muffins breakfast bonanza, no matter where in the world you may be. As for me, I’ll be munching on a few of these to start my May off right!
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free quick cooking oats
- 1/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 3 oz unsweetened applesauce (you can also use sweetened and decrease the sugar)
- 6 oz 2% vanilla Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2-3 tsp cinnamon (to taste)
- Butter, oil, or cooking spray (for the muffin tin)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with butter, oil or cooking spray.
- Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add wet ingredients and mix well.
- Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.
- Let cool and enjoy!
Do you have any special May Morning traditions? What’s your favorite way to use maple syrup in recipes?
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