Wednesday, March 30, 2011
When Life Gives You Tangelos, Make Muffins
I haven't been posting very regularly because there's been a lot of life going on. Some good, some bad, and some complicated. Whichever it is, though, it just needs to be dealt with.
Sometimes my refrigerator is kind of like my life. There are random things lurking in there that need to be dealt with. Various plastic tombs of forgotten bits of frosting, egg whites, and leftovers. Some have gone beyond the point of redemption. Those are pretty easy to deal with - if it's oozy, furry, or a different color from when it went into the refrigerator, I pitch it.
What's troubling are the things that I know are perfectly good, well, somewhat good, and I can't bear to throw them out. Then I have the conundrum of whether to leave it in the refrigerator until it fits the above criteria, or to get creative and figure out a way to use it up.
A recent purge of the fridge brought to light 2 half-used bags of cranberries. I know I bought the cranberries at Thanksgiving time, and it's gross that I still have them in March, but that's life. There were plenty of good berries in there among the shriveled, manky ones, so I couldn't just thrown them away, right?
I found a muffin recipe that calls for cranberries. Perfect! Except it also calls for an orange. I didn't have an orange, I had a tangelo. So that's what I used, figuring that in a muffin no one could tell the difference. Except my husband. He took a bite and asked, "What did you put in this? It tastes different." I explained the orange/tangelo paradigm, leveled him a look and said, "Deal with it." He quietly ate another bite and said, "It's good!" Smart man.
Tangelo Cranberry Muffins
- adapted from Muffins and Other Morning Bakes by Linda Collister
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
grated rind of 1 tangelo (or 1/2 an orange)
1 large egg
1-1/4 cups milk
2 tsp freshly squeezed tangelo (or orange) juice
1/4 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
1-2/3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (picked over, yucky ones removed)
1- Preheat the oven to 425 deg. F. with a rack in the center of the oven. Grease a deep 12-cup muffin pan.
2- Sift the flours and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar, pecans, and grated citrus rind.
3- In another bowl, lightly beat the egg with the milk, orange juice, and melted butter or vegetable oil. Add to the dry ingredients, stirring quickly with a wooden spoon until just mixed. It's OK if there are still traces of flour.
4- Add the cranberries and stir briefly, using as few strokes as possible. Do not overmix or your muffins will be tough.
5- Spoon into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch. Let cool in the pan for 1 minute, then turn out onto a wire rack. Eat warm or preferably within 24 hours. When cooled all the way, the muffins can be wrapped and frozen for up to 1 month.