What a cold winter it has been.
I don't recall how low temperatures used to get in Columbia when I was growing up, but I do remember it being cold then too. Regardless of the weather, though, I went outside to play. All my generation needed as kids was a sunny day and outside we went, layered in undershirts, blouses, sweaters, wool coats, hats and gloves.
Being a daddy's girl, I would tag along when he had odd jobs to do on Saturdays. On one occasion, he went to install a heater at the home of Cousin Lucy. I welcomed the opportunity to hang out and learn more about my cousin.
Cousin Lucy had a stove in her kitchen for cooking, and fireplaces in the bedrooms and living room. Daddy's father, Grandpoppa, had given Daddy the task of installing a stove in one bedroom and the living room. Grandpoppa and Cousin Lucy were first cousins. She had no children. As far I can remember, there were no space heaters and only one chimney, and it was cold -- in fact, I thought it had to be the coldest day of the year.
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The task of getting the heater installed lasted for hours -- at least it seemed like it. The work began -- placing and adjusting pipes to the fit tight and properly in the opening, adjusting the pipes to the stove to make sure there would be no smoke leakage. Then the stove had to be moved to fit the space. Cousin Lucy and I wrapped ourselves up in quilts and listened to the radio while the work was being done, drinking milk and eating cookies.
After the heater was installed and everything was checked, Daddy and I departed. We could not wait to get home to a warm house and warm food. There was nothing like a muffin with a cup of hot chocolate.
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten slightly
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add other ingredients; mix well. Bake in small greased and floured muffins tins until toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Source: Ervena Faulkner's personal file
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, separated
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup ripe banana, mashed
2 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, separated
2 egg whites
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners, then coat with nonstick spray (this way the liner will easily peel away from muffins after baking). Combine flour, sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk yogurt, banana, egg yolks and 3 tablespoons butter in a bowl until smooth; then stir into dry ingredients to combine. Whip whites in a bowl with a hand mixer until peaks are stiff; fold into batter. Fill each well of the muffin tin 3/4 full. Stir together remaining ingredients for the streusel topping in a small bowl; divide evenly among the muffins. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Serve warm.
Source: "Cuisine at Home," December 2007
LEMON BLUEBERRY OATMEAL MUFFINS
Makes: Dozen muffins
1 3/4 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour (if using old fashioned oats add 2 tablespoons additional flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt, (optional)
1 cup fat-free milk
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, do not thaw if frozen
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line 12 medium muffin cups with paper baking cups. For topping, combine 1/4 cup oats and brown sugar; set aside. For muffins, combine 1 1/2 cups oats with remaining dry ingredients. In small bowl, combine milk, egg whites, oil, lemon peel and vanilla; mix well. Add to dry ingredients; stir just until moistened. Gently stir in berries. Fill muffin cups almost full; sprinkle with toppings. Bake 20 to 24 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool muffins in pan or wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Serve warm.
Source: The Quaker Oats Company (2003)
Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.