(A light, long, true, yummy and humorous post about this family's association between muffins and aspiring cooks...)
Our family has this thing for muffins. We love muffins. They are a yummy, memory filled breakfast. They are the first "involved" breakfast that young cooks make by themselves in our family. And they are down right humorous.
My memories of muffins go back to before Bethi was born. Mommy would make a batch of Muffins every Monday for "Muffin Morning Monday". Tori and I always begged for a spoonful of the batter. Which Mommy thought was absolutely disgusting, but let us have some anyway ;).
When Mommy was expecting Bethi, I took over the muffins when Mommy started having morning sickness. This was great fun for me, and I traded in eating batter for snitching some of the dried blueberries in the mix. Heehee :). Daddy taught me how to cook, what can I say? I fondly remember a Christmas in Indiana when Daddy and I made the peanut butter balls while Tori helped Mommy with some of the other treats, and Daddy gave me some of the filling, telling me, as he did so, "That's what makes cooking with Daddy fun, isn't it ;)?". Mommy didn't find out about that philosophy until just recently, haha :).
After I had mastered those simple mixes, Mommy got a great idea. She bought a mix with canned blueberries instead of dried! It also involved adding more than eggs and water to the mix. And that became known as one of the worst muffin making experiences I ever had ;). After the egg rolling off the counter and cracking on the floor (and Tori promptly running to the bathroom when she saw it, heeheehee ;) ), the jar lids all jumping out of the cupboard at me when I opened it ("No worries Mom! This time it was just a lid!"), and the juice stains that were left on the counter from the canned blueberry juice (which were finally taken off with a magic eraser), we finally had muffins. But we never bought that particular kind of mix again ;).
Once we started making more foods from scratch, muffins also changed. I now made them from scratch every week, and Daddy spent a good bit of time helping me convert all our recipes to be used with whole wheat flour. He worked through our chocolate chip muffins with me, and we spent an evening making blueberry muffins from scratch, using all the tips Daddy had collected to make delicious muffins :). Don't over beat, only grease the pans halfway up the sides, do not over fill, don't open the door until at least 3/4s of the way into the baking time, get them in the oven as soon as you are done putting them in the pan so that they don't fall. Most of which I had not known before ;).
And then I made these. I changed the recipe slightly, and they became a favorite! (One thing you must remember, though. After we found out that Andrew was sensitive to cinnamon, I cut that down, so they now have a stronger ginger flavor. So, although they are, officially called Cinnamon muffins, Daddy asks for Ginger muffins when he wants them. And Tori calls them Cinnamon Sugar, due to the topping. And Abbi and Emmi call them Brown Sugar, due to the color of the topping. But Mommy continues to call them Cinnamon. By the way, I make muffins that are called Brown Sugar muffins. And they are not these. Can you remember all that without reading through it a second time? Heeheeheehee :).)
I can't think of too many mistakes Tori has made while making muffins (to which, if she was reading over my shoulder- where is she, come to think of it?!- she would say "That's because... I'm perfect. *evil laughter*." She did stir some blueberry muffins she was helping me with one time so hard that they turned green... but I go on...
Bethi is our newest little muffin maker :). When she woke up early today, I asked her if she wanted to make the muffins today :). She eagerly said yes, and the next thing I knew, she had called Andrew in to help her. And Abbi. And Emmi. Yes, four people under the age of nine made breakfast together. She's much braver than I am.
Amid navigating between multiple stools, and eating quite a few apples, they worked on making the muffins.
All was going well.
Until all of the sudden I heard "Ummm... Bri?"
"Were we suppose to grind the wheat?"
"Ummm... are you telling me you didn't?!"
"How do you forget to grind the wheat?!!!"
"Well, the recipe doesn't say to grind it..."
(Neither does it say to pour the wheat in the bowl, my darling. It says flour...)
"What else have you put in the bowl?"
"Umm.... the baking soda. And the rest of the flour. And the last of our baking powder."
And she wasn't joking in any way, shape or form.
After much debate, we settled on using a mesh strainer to sift the wheat out of the rest of the ingredients. And put it through the grinder ;).
All fixed, they went back to work. Happily, they stirred all the ingredients together. And remembered they had forgotten to stir the ground wheat into it. So they stirred it again. And started putting the muffin batter in the pans (after eating some of said batter). And found a mound of flour in the corner of the bowl. So they stirred it again. And broke the spoon.
A spoon that we have been using for as long as I can remember making muffins. That they then had to dig the bottom out of the batter. And find another spoon. Fare thee well ye ancient spoon. Hahahaha!
By this time I was starving (I don't eat apples in the morning unless there in a fruit salad... Tori doesn't either, but leaves the complaining to me, anyway), so I plopped on the couch next to Tori and started my most professional "humorous dramatic starvation jokes". You can just imagine that part. But Tori was laughing pretty hard. Hahaha :).
The muffins got put in the oven, and Mommy came downstairs, and got to hear the whole story. Daddy came down in the middle, and was very confused, so we had to back the story up.
By that time, the muffins were ready to come out of the oven. We pulled them out, mixed up the cinnamon sugar... and Bethi sprinkled it on as I looked for a pastry brush to brush on the butter. When she saw the brush in my hand, she couldn't believe herself. Heeheehee :)! I brushed the butter on, and she put more cinnamon sugar on the top, so that it would stick ;). We called Tori down for breakfast, and she asked "Did you put the butter on them before the sugar?" To which Bethi answered "Not at first..."
We were laughing so hard! And they were yummy, despite it all :)! We'll make a wonderful muffin baker out of her yet... with plenty of memories of her own ;)!!!