We were at the grocery store, and into the basket–plunk, plunk, plunk–went the yogurt, the baguettes for Jim’s lunches, a dozen eggs, and then, another essential, a bouquet of roses. Come late January, roses are essential as eggs–I need the color, the green leaves, the freshness. Back home, I arranged them in an old ironware jug, and made up a batch of bran muffins. Bran muffins are the culinary opposite of excitement, but the muffins made from my old (eleventh ed.) copy of Fannie Farmer have saved me from eating many an unwise sugary snack. Today I perched a big black fig on top of each muffin, along with a handful of golden raisins, just for fun.
Fannie Farmer Bran Muffins with Figs
Sift into a mixing bowl:
1 cup flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix in another bowl:
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup bran
black mission figs
Let the bran mixture stand for 10 minutes. Add the flour mixture. Stir just long enough to dampen the flour. Add a handful (about 1/3 cup) of golden raisins. Using a 1/4-cup ice cream scooper, apportion the batter into a muffin tin. Top each muffin with a fig. I use a nonstick tin from Wilton, but you can also line a tin with paper muffin cups. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes.
Baking notes: I melted the butter in a ceramic bowl, and added the egg, milk and bran. It saved melting it in a separate bowl. It’s the little things! You can also avoid melting the butter by just adding several glugs of vegetable oil. Plain bran can be purchased at health food stores–note that this is not the same as bran breakfast cereal. You will get 11 muffins if you use the ice cream scooper, but can eke out 12 if you use a spoon.
I’ve just re-filled the suet feeder–it brings almost more birds than the black sunflower seed feeder, and it’s fun to watch the birds’ intricate maneuvers as they peck at the suet.
Can’t resist showing off the French bread I made the other day. I would like to feature the recipe in a future post, but this bread is tricky–it’s all in the dough texture and handling–not something that can be easily transmitted online. But I will work on it.
This picture was taken last May–it’s hard to remember that the garden was ever this green! Peace. Fran