I was talking with some other moms today about Halloween―the day after. Some with very small children talked about their kids being overwhelmed and a bit frightened by the festivities. Others, with older children, like myself—spoke about how our kids were outgrowing the excitement of the day, even if it was still hard to let go of the idea of dressing up and trick-or-treating. Then there were others, whose kids were the perfect age where the wonder and excitement of the day are present and alive. Little elves, fairy princesses, Sesame Street characters for a day―these are the kids whose faces light up when the door opens and you place a sweet treat in their bags. It’s for all our children, at any age, that we do our best to be generous and help them create the magic of the holiday.
The day after Halloween brings an inevitable let down. It’s particularly true in the U.S. this year. With our elections now only a week away, there’s nothing else to distract us, to draw our attention away from the high stakes of what is about to come. While I rarely write of politics here, this year I’ll make an exception. I’m a Clinton supporter because I think she is immensely capable of doing the job. To me, a vote for her represents a vote for decency and hope. That’s what I want for my children and for all our futures. I want to live in a world that values love and is intolerant of hate.
So, between now and next Tuesday, I plan to keep close attention on what is happening in the days leading up to the election. I plan to do whatever I can to support Mrs. Clinton’s election. I also plan to comfort myself being surrounded by friends and family with happy times and warming food. This Apple and Oatmeal Breakfast Cake is a perfect example. Crisp and fresh fall apples are baked in a light batter moistened by fresh apple cider. Have it for breakfast. Serve it warm, drizzled with a bit of honey, accompanied by a cup of steaming coffee or milk―then face the day with optimism.
I look forward to seeing you in my kitchen, gathering flavors, soon.
Apple and Oatmeal Breakfast Cake
Yield: About 12 servings
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon pure lemon or vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup oatmeal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 small apples, rinsed peeled and cut into large chunks
- Honey, for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
- Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a standing mixer. Add the egg and mix to combine. Add the lemon or vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flours, oatmeal, baking powder and salt. Add to the wet mixture and mix just enough to combine. Add the apple cider and apple chunks. Mix again, just enough to combine.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Place in the oven.
- Bake until golden and the center of the cake is firm, about 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Allow to cool slightly.
- Serve warm drizzled with honey, if you like.