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We escaped the Frozen North this week to someplace warm and tropical and it almost feels like cheating. Shouldn’t we be eating rib-sticking comfort food and not slurping fresh passion fruit from a spoon?
How can we have the audacity to shuffle-smack around in sandy flip-flops while our arctic puffers collect dust in the closet? But I’m not here to gloat, promise; I, too, was bone-chilled, quietly resentful of people anywhere that their face didn’t freeze within half a block of their apartment and questioning all of the life choices that had led me to take up residence in such a place just a few days ago.
Instead, I’d like to offer small packages of what passes for sunshine until real warmth returns: the best corn muffins I’ve ever made.
I have been on the hunt for a great corn muffin recipe, well, as long as I can remember.
My mother made them when I was growing up and I had assumed she got her recipe from Joy of Cooking or Silver Palate, two of our cookbook bibles back then, but no, she tells me they were from the back of the Jiffy box, sending me back to the drawing board if I wanted to make them from scratch.
They understand that while a more dense batter may make for pretty muffins, you’re going to want a thick, creamy ingredient inside to keep the final muffin from tasting dry and floury.
Often, we use applesauce or mashed bananas to soften the final crumb, but I don’t need any of that in my corn muffins.
In this month’s magazine, they did something I’d never considered: cooking some of the cornmeal with milk until porridge-thick to give the muffins a tenderness that seems otherwise impossible from this volume of dry ingredients.
Split and warmed with a pat of salted butter (or salted brown honey butter, I’m just saying), if cold weather could have a consolation prize, this would be it.
Thank you: For all of your good cheer and kind words about last week’s kind of crazy news.