Thursday, February 19, 2009

Banana Muffins

When I was a kid, my mom taught me to bake things like banana bread, cinnamon loaf and Lemon Loaf. She had a cookbook from the Salvation Army, Men's Service Club, Grand Falls Newfoundland. Who knows where she got it because we lived in New Brunswick when she taught us to cook out of this book, and it was old then!!!! This book was my introduction to those books that are filled with donated recipes from members of the organization. What was funny about this book is that there were 7 banana bread/loaf recipes on the page. And I always wondered what the difference between "loaf" and "bread" was. I still wonder.Whenever we were in the mood to make one, mom would get out the recipe book and then start to wonder which one she used the last time. It was funny, because they are are similar recipes with just one or two tiny differences. But sometimes that little difference would make or break the end result. And don't think that the recipe with the check mark on it is the right recipe. it isn't. But we fell for it at least 5 times before we learned to ignore the check mark!!! I have vivid memories of my mom buying large brown bags of blackened bananas from Steinbergs Grocery for like .20 cents and we would make 6 or 8 loaves at a time.

When I got married, mom gave me a choice of her cookbooks and I choose this book. But I just couldn't find the recipe that we used for banana bread, that we liked the most. As times changed, muffins became more of a highlight in my house, having little girls with little appetites. Muffins looked so much more fun than "bread", so I started my hunt for the perfect banana muffins. Here's a little trivia for you. In my mom's 1950's cookbook... 93 pages, 7 or 8 recipes on each page. NOT ONE MUFFIN RECIPE. Not one. There are 11 donut recipes, 6 recipes for mayonnaise, even a recipe for Mock Goose... but not one muffin recipe, of any description. Interesting how muffins were not a big deal in the 50s.

I started making banana muffin recipes, and after trying out about 10 different recipes on my kids, we found the perfect recipe. Of course, I cut the sugar in half, turned the butter into oil, changed half the flour to whole wheat, and added a small handful of chocolate chips to the recipe to make it the perfect recipe for us.

My kids grew up enjoying these (even Stephanie who hates bananas). They learned to make these at a very young age. Then, this recipe because a routine event when my little niece Grace came to visit. We always got up extra early, just the two of us, and would make a double batch of muffins for when everyone else got up! It was a favorite, and will always be. Grace was a natural at cooking, even at 3 years old!

The reason for this blog..... I made these muffins the other day. I haven't really bought bananas since Dad died. He ate one every day, but now that he is gone, I don't buy them. Jill has been know to drop me off either a bag of frozen rotten bananas, or just a bag of almost gone ones. But I bought a bunch last week for a couple of kids at school and they weren't eating them either.. geesh. So, I made a double batch and brought them for the kids as well as Chantal. I was so thrilled to know that the kids LOVE them as much as we do, and really nice to hear that Chantal loved them as well. There is nothing better than finding the perfect recipe, and then using it for so long that you forget that its perfect. To get positive reinforcement like that, makes me love the recipe even more. One hint.. though.... I learned. And its really important...

when you add the dry to the wet... GENTLY fold the dry ingredients into the wet.. until its barely incorporated. This stops the binding of things and the muffins come out perfect.

Banana Muffins

3 ripe bananas... mashed
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup flour ( I use half whole wheat)
a handful of chocolate chips

Add sugar to the bananas, then egg and oil. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Then gently add the dry to the banana mixture along with a handful of chocolate chips. (I use to use mini ones, and about a quarter of a cup, just enough to say there was chocolate in them) Mix just enough to incorporate the dry.
Bake at 375 degrees about 15 minutes.

I hope you enjoy.


Anonymous said...

Yummy! I think I will try these tonight. The kids love to "help" me bake. Always looking for things the kids will eat.

cpm said...

you are right...Chantal LOVES them!hee!hee! (although that was before I knew they were healthy! lol!) Thanks for the recipe. I'm going to make them today...although I'm going to call you to get more details regarding this "folding" technique!

P.S. I think it's funny how the checkmark is the wrong way (wrong for us righty people anyway)

ancient one said...

This was a wonderful post. I have a lot of those "organization" mostly church cookbooks. I love to read them, but rarely cook from them unless I'm cooking something to take somewhere else... then I check the recipes and the ones that have smudges on the page are the one's I used before...(I'm messy)
Glad the kids loved your muffins... I know you miss your dad! A banana every day? Bad as me and my cheerios.