Sweet Iced Oat Milk

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Day 7: Make/eat something inspired by a book or film.

Today’s prompt is terrifyingly broad! On this hot Labor Day Monday, when I’m still tired out from last night’s fundraiser and post-fundraiser friend times, all I want is to drink ice-cold water and snack on healthy foods. As I perused the internet looking for inspiration, I came across this quote from A Game of Thrones:

“…Wine no longer agrees with my digestion, I fear, but I can offer you a cup of iced milk, sweetened with honey. I find it most refreshing in this heat.” (Grand Maester Pycelle to Ned Stark, p. 250)

As a fan of the book series, the idea of making something super-simple yet inspired by a King’s Landing drink appealed to me. Ned describes the milk as “oversweet to his taste,” so I made sure not to go overboard with the sweetener in my version. I think this one would be Eddard-approved!

Sweet Iced Oat Milk

Sweet Iced Oat Milk
Serves 2-3

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 2 1/2 T pure maple syrup
  • Dash cinnamon

Add the dry oats to the blender and pulse for 20-30 seconds, or until they’re in small pieces. Add the water and let soak for about 10 minutes, giving the oats a stir now and then if you think of it. Blend for 2-3 minutes, or until you don’t see any pieces. (Give your blender a little rest in between minutes if it’s not particularly strong.)

Place a nut milk bag over a large measuring bowl or mason jar and pour the oat milk through the bag. Use your hands to gently squeeze out the milk, but most of it should strain very quickly. Set the bag aside. Pour the milk back into the blender and add the maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon. Blend for 10-15 seconds, then return to a jar for storing.

If you have time, freeze a few ice cubes made of the oat milk. To serve, add 2-3 cubes to a frosty glass, then pour in the milk. If you’re short on time, you can place the entire container of milk in the freezer for about 15 minutes so it gets very cold, and forgo the ice cubes. No matter which way you serve it, be sure to give it a quick whisk or stir to recombine any separated ingredients.

Oat milk should last for about a week in your fridge.

Sweet Iced Oat Milk

Cinnamon & Spice Squash Stew (+ bibliophilia!)

In case you didn’t know, I am a bibliophile. I do have a B.A. in English, after all. Nothin’ (except maybe a strong caffeinated beverage) gets my heart a-racin’ like a big stack of books. I’m like a kid in Willy Wonka’s factory in a library or bookstore… or anywhere with well-stocked bookshelves, really. However, I think that my favorite book-y locale is a good ol’ fashioned used book sale. You know the type, the Friends-of-Such-and-Such-Library-Quarterly-Book-Sale type deal where you exchange a few crumpled dollar bills for a towering stack of books. I stumbled across one such sale last month and exercised an extreme amount of self-control, only buying a few books and a couple of old maps and box of stationery (for $1!!!). But since then, I’ve had a hunger – a desire, a craving! – to waste time browsing the stacks, to pile a basket high with cheap, well-loved tomes, and to generally satiate my bibliophilic urge.

Today I finally got to do just that, at another used book sale held by the same organization. Oh, it was heaven. I spent $6.25 and came away with a stash of language books (Hebrew! Italian! German! French!), more maps, more stationery, and novels. Lots and lots of novels.

Oh, rapture!

Doesn’t that just make your heart happy? Mine is singing with joy. Most of those cost just a quarter. Isn’t that ridiculous? A quarter! I was particularly pleased with the Canterbury Tales, because I have a rather embarrassing Chaucer collection and I always like adding to it with another version of the Tales. This is a prose version, and I don’t think I have one of those yet! So exciting. That bibliophilic urge? I don’t think it’s satiated so much as kindled! Ah well.

I also managed to snag a few old copies of Vegetarian Times magazine. As I perused the October 2008 edition, a recipe for the charmingly-titled “Spicy Fall Stew Baked in a Pumpkin” caught my eye, and I decided to channel that idea and create something similar for my own dinner – Cinnamon & Spice Squash Stew.

Squashlicious!

My stew shares barely anything in common with its VT cousin, other than the fact that it is baked in a winter squash. It’s a mish-mash meal, comprised mostly of CSA veggies and some Black Japonica rice my parents brought when they visited this summer. It’s also a hearty, warming dish full of autumnal veggies, and I washed it down with a cold glass of apple cider. It seems a little silly to provide a recipe for something so full of random ingredients, but I’ll do it anyway – just for posterity.

Cinnamon & Spice Squash Stew
Ingredients
1 acorn squash
1/2 cup uncooked Black Japonica rice
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes*
3/4 cup chickpeas
Small bunch of leeks, chopped into small rings
1 clove garlic, diced
Small pat Earth Balance
Generous sprinkle cinnamon
Dash sage
Dash thyme
Dash crushed red pepper
Salt & pepper to taste
Toasted walnuts (optional, but delicious!)

Cook rice according to the directions on the package. While it’s cooking, chop up the veggies. Melt the EB and then sauté the garlic and leeks until soft. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, and spices and let simmer. Preheat the oven to 425 or so. Meanwhile, slice the top off the acorn squash and remove the seeds and stringy bits. Place the squash into a pan filled with a little water (you might need to chop a bit off the bottom of the squash so it’ll stay upright in the pan). When the rice is done, combine it with the tomato-chickpea mixture and spoon it into the squash. Place the sliced-off top back onto the squash, put it into the oven, and roast it for 45 minutes or until the it’s soft and tender inside. Remove from oven, top with toasted walnuts, and enjoy! You can eat it straight from the squash or spoon it – along with the squash! – into bowls.

*I used a handful of frozen cherry tomatoes – when my parents visited, they gave me a huuuge basket of tomatoes from their garden. So I threw a bunch of them (3-4 lbs, maybe!) in a freezer bag, and now I just pop ’em into recipes as needed! Works like a charm.

Do you write down random recipes you create on the fly? How about book sales – are you into them?