Saturday, October 10, 2015


BY VICTORIA ABBOTT aka Mary Jane and Victoria Maffini

We love living in our village on the outskirts of Canada’s capital. Manotick, Ontario has about 2,500 pop. and MJ can walk to the village for events, eating out, great shopping and just seeing the scenery.  Victoria lives in the next village but she sure spends a lot of time in this one. We both hope to run into you in the village one of these days. California isn't that far away!

One of the things we love best is the historic mill that is the heart of the village. The mill comes with a resident ghost and is a place for the annual Horticultural Society sale, and for the annual Christmas market among other fun stuff.  

It looks good from the river side too! 

They still grind their own wheat at the mill.  Last Saturday ( a beautiful but windy fall day) we strolled over to the mill and bought some freshly milled whole wheat flour at the organic market across the street. How much fun is that?  Of course, we couldn't wait to try it out and the hunt for the right recipe was on.

We had to experiment with a bunch that featured the ingredients we had and that seemed hospitable to ones we wanted to include (maple syrup and buttermilk), but we were very happy with this final version.  Many recipes use honey and some include sour cream, but we went with our own version.

Whole wheat oatmeal maple quick bread

All you need is:

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk  (I had some frozen in half-cup cakes and it was fine defrosted. Next time, I used fresh, no noticeable difference in results.)

All you do is:

Preheat over to 450 F

Grind the oatmeal in a food processor. 

Combine the oatmeal, flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  We used a large measuring cup.
In a separate 2-cup measuring cup, combine maple syrup, oil and buttermilk.  

Add the liquids to the dry and work until a soft dough is formed (very soft!).  Shape into a loaf.
Oil a baking sheet very lightly and place the loaf on it.

Bake in pre-heated over for 25-30 minutes until the bottom is brown and sounds hollow if you tap it. 

  We had to experiment with baking and adding extra minutes because it wasn’t cooked. Consider yourself warned!  But it is worth a bit of experimentation with baking time.  

This is a really tasty loaf, a bit crumbly. It’s great warm with butter or jam, but also nice left over, cool with butter or butter and jam or just by itself.

It’s not that big however, so you may want to make another one quite soon.  I did! 

That shadowy figure known as Victoria Abbott is actually artist and photographer, Victoria Maffini and her mother, Mary Jane, author of three other mystery series. 

They are celebrating (explains the hats!) the release of The Marsh Madness, the fourth book collector mystery, just weeks off the press.

Here's what some people are saying about The Marsh Madness:

I highly recommend The Marsh Madness to readers of all ages who appreciate excellent writing, exciting plots, and fun, small-town people.   -- Open Book Society

The Marsh Madness is a mystery that will keep you guessing and entertained every step of the way.

-- Fresh Fiction

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  1. Oh, lucky you to have a mill nearby!
    This sounds very tasty.
    With yeast breads you can tell they're done if the internal temperature is 190F. Wonder if that is also true for quick breads?

    1. I should try that, Libby, instead of knocking! Thanks for coming by.



  2. Your town sounds and looks so darling! Wouldn't that be the perfect setting for a mystery series?? And the bread sounds yummy. and you girls are of course ever more adorable! xo

  3. LOL - funny you should mention it, Roberta. I have a proposal ready to go. It would have to include the girls of course.



  4. I was thinking the same thing. I love cozy villages. It's a shame we don't have more in the US. Your bread sounds wonderful and healthy, too!

  5. Thanks, Krista. I am hooked on the bread. Maybe not the best thing, but hey!



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  7. Sounds exactly up my alley. Can't wait to read it.