That’s six degrees of heat, as in Fahrenheit–the temperature outside my dining room window. The one that looks out on the arctic landscape that is Pennsylvania these last two days. Yes, these are dark, drafty, desperate times. Can you think of a better reason to crank up the oven to 425?
I planned on sharing some crock pot beef stew (sorry, no vintage connection there) with a neighbor and wanted a bread-y accompaniment. After consulting The Calumet Book of Oven Triumphs from 1934, I found the perfect side–corn muffins. The basic recipe yielded only a dozen muffins (hey, who needs to be overrun with 24 muffins when you’ve got time to fill on a wickedly cold day? One butter-covered half leads to a second, which leads……) and was easy to prepare. The only step that ate up a few more seconds of my time was sifting the ingredients twice. Not a problem. Where was I going anyway? I had no plans to leave the igloo.
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons melted butter or other shortening (I used butter)
Sift flour once,
measure, add baking powder, sugar, and salt, and sift again.
Note: Don’t overmix. I actually used my fork to lightly combine the wet and dry ingredients. There is still a bit of flour visible in my batter. I get a bit paranoid and hate to overdo it.
Bake in greased muffin pans (I used cupcake liners) in 425 degree oven 25 minutes, or until done. (I baked mine only 18 minutes). Makes 12 muffins.
And then they were done, each muffin like a miniature sun, beaming warmth aimed right at my face (I’ll do anything to keep me positive in January, even fantasize about astronomy). A few minutes later, I packed them up with the stew and was doing my best Little Red Riding Hood routine to deliver the food. The temp had risen to 8 degrees. Perfect day for a walk.