Memory Smack! Warm Banana Muffins

June 7, 2012

“Back of the bread is the flour,
And back of the flour is the mill,
And back of the mill is the wind and the rain
And the Father’s will.”
This little tune popped into my head the other morning when I was pulling some fresh banana muffins out of my oven. Admittedly, this is a strange connection, so let me explain…
For the majority of my childhood and young adult life, I spent every summer playing, laughing and having the time of my life at a camp in Northern Minnesota. First as a camper, and then as a counselor, my experiences at this little piece of Heaven on Earth are some of the best memories I have ever had.
Once June FINALLY rolled around, I would pack my huge duffel bag, initial all my personal possessions with a “PM” in big black Sharpie, and board the bus for the four hour ride north for one month of pure bliss. Now, early June in Minnesota can be quite chilly, and often rainy. If you ask my dad, he will tell you it always rains the entire month of June.  While this is a bit of an exaggeration…he isn’t too far off.
Well, on those chilly rainy mornings after the breakfast bell rang, we would all gather in the great big dining hall, nice and toasty, with a warm fire blazing in the fireplace. You could literally hear the stomachs growling; we were ready for a delicious and warm meal. Before eating however, the program director would always lead the camp in singing grace. There were a handful of different songs we would sing, but the one I listed above has always been my favorite. It has such a simple melody and beautiful message. That said, it is also probably the shortest of the songs, and when I was seven years old…that may have been the biggest draw. It meant we could eat that much faster.
While most people didn’t like those rainy mornings, I always loved them. You see, I knew that chilly mornings meant my favorite breakfast of all time: piping hot bowls of cream of wheat with fresh baked muffins straight from the oven.  There is simply nothing better than this breakfast, it warms you from within and puts a smile on your face.
When I pulled my banana muffins out of the oven the other morning, the warm sweet smells of banana and cinnamon filled the air and sent me immediately back to those amazing memories at camp. I even made a bowl of cream of wheat to go along with them.
While some of you may not have experienced those perfectly cool summer mornings when growing up, perhaps you can start creating some new memories with these banana muffins. We have had a few crisp mornings already as fall draws near, so why not make them extra special with a fresh-from-the-oven banana muffin accompanied by a warm bowl of cream of wheat or oatmeal.  I hope you enjoy!
Original Post: 9/13/11
Yield: 12 standard or 6 jumbo muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 large VERY ripe bananas – mashed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter – melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease muffin tin with cooking spray or line
    with paper liners.
  3. In a large bowl sift together flour, baking
    powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine mashed bananas,
    sugars, egg and melted butter. Mix until smooth.
  5. Gently fold dry mixture into wet mixture until just combined.
  6. Scoop evenly into muffin tins.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven for about 20-30
    minutes, depending on standard vs. jumbo muffins. The muffins will spring back
    when lightly touched. You may also test with a toothpick, making sure it comes
    out clean.

**Note: Do not use a mixer for this recipe, as
it will produce in a tough muffin.  You will have better results if you
prepare by hand.

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