January 28, 2010 by skwishface
Years ago, when The Husband was still just The Boyfriend and we were living in glorious sin, my Mom gave me a recipe book. Not just any recipe book, no. This one is special.
It’s a little spiral notebook, and on its wide-ruled pages she wrote out by hand a couple dozen of our family’s favorite recipes. Everything from cheesy lasagna to homemade playdough.
At the time, I wasn’t nearly the cooking enthusiast that I am now and so I didn’t appreciate this book enough. But I do now. Oh wow, do I ever.
See, I’ve been struggling for a while with bananas and baked goods. They have thwarted me. I do not enjoy being thwarted. Frustrated and badly needing inspiration, I turned to Mom’s book. And lo, there was a recipe for banana bread. A simple recipe with sensible instructions. A recipe that I know will work because I remember eating it back in The Day when my Mom was my primary source of home-cooked food. Brilliant!
Because I can never leave well enough alone, and The Husband and I are trying to eat healthier, I added oats to the recipe. Oh, and I muffinized it. Which is a word.
(1) 1 cup sugar
(2) 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
(3) 1/2 cup softened butter
(4) 1/4 cup milk
(5) 1 teaspoon vanilla
(6) 2 whole eggs
2 cups flour (I mixed whole wheat and regular)
3/4 cup quick oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
(wander over to Tasty Kitchen for the printable version)
The bananas should be very ripe indeed. Ripe = sweet. Mom says so. And Mom, I increasingly discover, is often right.
But all I had was fresh bananas on a Saturday. And a need to have the muffins baked on Sunday. So I cheated.
Why yes, that’s an apple. Did you know that apples naturally give off an aura of ripening? It’s a gas or a chemical or something that someone smarter than me can identify, but it totally works. I shall demonstrate!
Food is magic.
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees, and take out your frustrations on those bananas.
Bananas, the whipping boy of the kitchen. For today, at least.
Next, mix together the first 6 ingredients on that list. See how I numbered them? Don’t start thinking I’m super smart for doing that. I just numbered them because that’s how Mom did it.
From YOU, okay?! I learned it from watching YOU!
(name that PSA!)
Anyway, mix the first 6 together. Forget to photograph mixing them until you’ve already pushed the button on your mixer.
Once that’s all blended together, add the rest of the ingredients. Forget to take a picture of that until you’ve already mixed it a bit and realize you’ve forgotten to add the oats.
Don’t go crazy with the mixing, here. You really only need to mix it just enough to get everything moistened. It’s okay if there’s lumps. It’s okay if you see a little dry spot of flour here and there. Please trust that these will resolve in the baking process. Over-mixing leads to tough, dense muffins. Which are edible, but barely. For soft, fluffy muffins, just a few strokes of the mixing spoon will do!
Drop some cupcake wrappers into your friendly neighborhood muffin pan and fill up the cups. You really can fill them up practically to the top – that’s how you get the lovely puffy muffin-tops that have given womanly hip-fat rolls a bad name. I didn’t fill mine up quite enough, so I ended up with one extra muffin in a whole other pan. If you’re not like me and you do this right, you should end up with an even dozen muffins.
Be sure to forget to take a picture of this until after you’ve gotten them into the oven.
Bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes. Really, it depends on your oven. Check them at the 20-minute mark – if you stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean, they’re done!
And once they’re done, you have yourself a tidy little army of healthy little muffins. Full of sweet banana flavor and oaty goodness. They’re beautiful and fluffy and tasty and it’s all thanks to my Mom taking the time to write out her recipes for me years ago.