Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bran Muffins Aplenty

I have an old cookbook... you know the kind.  The one where you write your favorite tried and true recipes in it.  I received my book as a gift about 25 years ago.  When I received it, I made a pact with myself that I would only write in the recipes that I know are good and useful recipes... ones that were family favourites.
All in all, I did just as I planned and only took the time to hand write those recipes that were worth it.  As I go back though the recipe book now, some recipes bring back memories of family meals, parties with friends, pickling weekends and there are even smatterings of other peoples handwriting in there.

Now, in the high tech world I live in, I have converted to a electronic recipe book called "Paprika" which is an app that you can have on all your devices (iPhone, iPad and computer).  I have all three apps, and they are linked so that when I take the time to type or copy a recipe into the program on my computer, it is now on my phone (for sharing with friends, or grocery shopping) and on my iPad for using in the kitchen as a recipe book.

That being said, I look back on my handwritten cookbook and marvel at the historic value in that book.  Jack and I make our muffins from that old handwritten cookbook.  He reminds me every time to get the book and he turns the pages until he finds a "MESSY" page and then he knows he has found either the muffin page or some other "favorite" page.  That is something you won't find when you use an electronic cookbook... the faded marks of vanilla, sticky edges of sugar or egg splatters.   My banana muffin recipe is particularly identifiable by the tear in the page where a blob of batter dried on the page and stuff to the next page for a few weeks.  It had to be torn open.. leaving a small hole in the page, which Jack uses to narrow his search for the RIGHT muffin recipe. I would like to add that the pie crust recipe page in my book is pristine clean. (I hate making pie crust).

Well, that was long winded to tell you that in my peruse though that old book.. I found an old favorite I haven't made in years.  It was given to me by an old friend, Dianna.  We both made this recipe for our families and we also shared muffins with those around the neighbourhood or office.   This is a recipe that you make in a very large bowl (sometimes its an issue to find a bowl large enough), you let it age in the fridge for 3 days and then... you can bake fresh muffins ... a few at a time.  It makes around 40 large muffins.
Last week I made 6-8 muffins every morning before I came to work.  One day I added Chocolate Chips, another day it was raisins, and I have also add Blueberries in the past.. and fresh Cranberries ina batch I made before Christmas.  You can't imagine how awesome they are with dark chocolate chips AND fresh cranberries!

If you pull out 2 cups of batter... add your goodies... and scoop using a 1/3 to 1/2 cup scoop.. you will get 6 to 8 large muffins.

Bran Muffins
2 cups natural bran
I apologize for my poor photography. 
2 cups hot water
pour hot water over natural bran in a VERY large bowl.  In another bowl, cream together
1.5 cups of sugar
1 cup shortening
then add to the creamed mixture
5 beaten eggs
-then, pour this mixture in with the natural bran mixture and then add:
5 cups flour
3 tablespoons baking soda 
1.5 tsp salt
4 cups of bran flakes
1 litre of buttermilk 

**let this mixture age for three (yup 3) days in the fridge.

Bake at 375 for almost 25 minutes (depending on how big a muffin you make)

I think this batter will last as long as your buttermilk is dated, so buy the freshest buttermilk you can.

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