Saturday, May 22, 2010

Something for Nana

Since I was planning on dropping in to see Nana on Saturday afternoon, I decided it would be nice to bring her something freshly baked - like muffins (p30). I spent my morning tidying up, doing laundry and watching a DVD that was due back at 1pm. By the time I'd dropped the DVD back, it was just before 1 o'clock, which was when I'd intended to head off to Nana's. I very nearly decided I didn't have time for baking, but in the end I figured a batch of muffins wouldn't take long.

And it didn't. A simple matter of creaming butter and sugar, adding an egg, and mixing in the dry ingredients - including both plain and wholemeal flour, and let's not forget the baking powder! Add some baking soda dissolved in milk and fold in carefully: the big thing with muffins is not to overmix.

Into the muffin pans and bake. The recipe says 12-15 minutes, but they really needed all of 15, plus a couple more. Even so, the muffins were ready in a remarkably short time - about 20-25 minutes from when I started.

If you're into muffin-making, by the way, I recommend getting some teflon muffin pan liners - your muffins come out of the pans really really easily, you don't have to scrub away for ages trying to get the muffin pans clean, and there's no trying to eat around a paper muffin case.

The resulting muffins might seem slightly disappointing compared to the kind we're used to seeing these days. These are plain muffins of the old school, before they became trendy and were available everywhere in a huge range of interesting flavours. They're very plain: the intention presumably being that you put butter and/or jam in them. And they're small. They barely rose to the top of the muffin tins, but that's the old fashioned thing again - people used to have things in more appropriate portions.

It's easy to overlook plain muffins. It's a bit like standing in front of an ice cream counter at the local dairy - there's so many flavours to choose from, so why would you get vanilla? Yet if you do get vanilla, you find yourself quite surprised at how nice it is. Plain muffins are the same - you can dress them up or eat them as is, and it's surprising how pleasant they taste - especially straight out of the oven!

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