Monday, October 7, 2013

Koyaanisqatsi incarnate

In the Hopi language, the word Koyaanisqatsi means "unbalanced life"*.

I'm pretty sure some time-travelling Hopi shaman followed me around for the month of September, went back home, gathered the village up to tell them of his terrible visions, and, after the children stopped crying, decided to pray.

Shaman: "Oh, Spirit of the Sun!  Let us never, ever, work so damn much that we cannot type up a recipe and put it on the Internet!"

Sun Spirit: "For sure, my son. That existence doth suck** and shall make you fat and grumpy.  Here is a word with a lot of vowels and a Q with no U.  Say it in pity for that poor woman, six times slowly and portentously, in a really deep voice.  I'm talking rumbling, auto-tune deep here, understand? Now go in peace, with my blessing."

Then all was right again with the great Hopi nation.

If it worked for them, it can work for me. I am going to grab a kachina doll***, rumble a little, and try to get my life back into balance.

Starting with this recipe I typed up to put on the Internet.

Applesauce Spice Muffins with Citrus Glaze

by Sharon Graves
The perfect bite of fall.  And a great way to use up applesauce left over from when your niece visits.  The ingredient list is long, but most of it is spices. Adapted from Brunch, by Marc Meyer and Peter Meehan
 Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes for mini muffins, 22-25 minutes for regular size


For the muffins
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp. allspice
  • 3/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. applesauce
  • 1 c. golden raisins
  • 1 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
For the glaze
  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbs. fresh orange or lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350, and spray 3 mini muffin trays or one regular muffin tray generously with non-stick baking spray.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and the brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs and the vanilla, and beat for about 30 seconds more.

Stir in the flour mixture, using a large spoon instead of the mixer so your muffins won't get tough. Finally, fold in the applesauce, raisins, and nuts, if you use them (I didn't. I really don't like nuts in my breakfast, but that's just me).

Scoop dough into the muffin cups, filling about three-quarters of the way up. I find an ice cream scoop to be very handy for this. Bake for 13-15 minutes for mini muffins, 22-25 minutes for normal size, until tops are light golden brown and muffins are firm to the touch. Allow to cool in the pans for about 5 minutes.

While the muffins are cooling, make the glaze by stirring the juice and powdered sugar together until smooth and no lumps remain.

Turn the warm muffins out of the pan. Holding upside down, dip each muffin top into the glaze, then place right side up on a cooling rack. Serve warm (the best!) or at room temperature (still awesome) the day they are made.

* It is also a cult art movie with no dialog and a soundtrack by Phillip Glass. I know this because back when I had a balanced life, I went to artsy movies and didn't obsess about all the legal documents and spreadsheets I had to work on later.  Instead I obsessed that I was not smart enough to understand what all the fuss was about because the movie was boring and Phillip Glass makes really irritating music.

FYI, my month was pretty much like the segment at 1:10 of this trailer.

** Not entirely.  I met all my daughter's teachers, and delivered these muffins to a parent meeting at my son's school.  I spent time with good friends and curled up with my husband. Yes, he was generally passed out snoring, but we were technically together at the time. I read books on my numerous flights (the one pictured on the left there was great), and listened to a wonderful story while commuting back and forth to HQ (the one shown on the right there).  And my work travels included stunning meals at Bar Tartine in San Francisco (the steak tartare was mind-blowing) and Foragers City Table in New York, as well as long, satisfying morning walks in both places.

I did, however, miss out on a shitload of sleep.
*** Fortunately, because my children went to a progressive school, there was a Hopi study in second grade, and we have kachina dolls out in the garage.

What I want my months to be like from now on. Hear me, Spirit of the Sun!


  1. My life, too, has had moments of 1:10. But then, also, a lot of slow motion stuff. (Which has impeded productivity significantly.)