May 27, 2010

Marvelous Muffin Memories

Me and muffins get along really well. They are a trademark of the Molenaar home. Ever since I was first married, I have enjoyed making muffins. My kids spent many hours at my kitchen counter with me, making muffins. I used to make teenie tiny little muffins for them to stuff a bit of nutrition and goodness into their small tummies. Sending them to school with a little muffin felt like I was sending a bit of comfort and love from mom wrapped in a delicious batter.

Muffin making started out as a adventure to learn to be domesticated and to "wow" my husband.
Then, as I was making them, God would bring someone to mind who needed prayer. All of a sudden, they became more than just muffins. It became an opportunity to create, think, ponder and pray.

Sometimes I knew who they were for, sometimes they were just for me, or for us. Other times they were a token of love and prayers for those who were struggling, in need or just feeling ill or down.
Our family has many marvelous memories of chats over muffins and tea or coffee. I think every one we have ever mentored has a Molenaar Muffin Memory. A bit of comfort food, warm tea, a listening ear, a word of encouragement blended with some wisdom truth goes a long way towards investing in someone else's future.

Over the years, I've learned to "store up" for times of need. When the impulse to bake comes upon me, I open my freezer and go on a treasure hunt for the sorry looking, black bananas that get lost and buried under other frozen goods. The more black, the better the muffin.

Some times when you open my freezer, there is a carnage of dead bananas everywhere! Every once in while my husband gets fed up with avalanche of bananas that try to escape from the freezer. So, he pulls out a few huge large freezer bags and gathers them carefully, knowing that they are preserved treasures that produce tantalizing morsels. He'll remind me nicely that there a lot of bananas in the freezer. Then he asks the question:

"When are you gonna make some more muffins?"
"Soon" I say.

Then, a day or many days later, the urge hits me, and I pull out all the blackened bananas, and make a triple or quadruple batch. I start thinking and humming and sometimes I ask:

"Who will enjoy these morsels God?" or
"Who are you thinking about God? What do they need?
"Can You blend in a big dose of love and encouragement into this batter?"

He can, He always does. And that is what turns these muffins into something more.... something marvelous.

Helen Keller said:
Kindness is a language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

Everyone can understand the language of kindness, and sometimes it can come in the form of a muffin.
(Recipe below picture)

Marvelous Banana Muffins

3 large bananas (I use really ripe ones that have been frozen and gone black)
3/4 c. white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/3 melted butter (don't use margarine... its not as good)

Mash bananas. Add sugar and slightly beaten egg.
Add the melted butter.
Add the dry ingredients and bake at 375 for 20 min.

Cheryl's adjustments:

Often I substitute 50% of the butter for applesauce to reduce fat.
The ones above, I used 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 regular flour.
And I dumped a blump of natural bran. Yup.. a blump.
If I had to guess
the measurement, I would say.... hmmm... 1 blump = 1/2 c.

Sometimes I add chocolate chips into the batter or put a few little
morsels on the top of the muffin.
I almost ALWAYS use paper muffin cups... cause I hate clean up!



Cyndi said...

These look lovely Cheryl. I can practically smell them coming out of the oven and hear you singing softly as you pull them out!

Anonymous said...

I agree, they look scrumptious!!! I too like liners... less mess, less time spent cleaning up :)

Amy said...

I have had the pleasure of eating these muffins many times! (and ohhhhh how I miss them..YOU!)

Shari said...

This is the same recipe I've been using... got it from Heidi. I usual add one of those small individually packaged yogurts to it (just whatever kind needs to be used up).
This is the best recipe I've found for banana muffins!!

Margaret said...

Sure makes sense to bake larger batches of muffins: same time, mess but huge feeling of accomplishment especially if you are lucky enough to squirrel some away in the freezer.