Wednesday, February 24, 2010

math and muffins

If books reveal secrets about their owners, my Betty Crocker Cookbook has more clues than a police crime scene. It is no mystery which recipes were featured on the menu. Like Hansel and Gretel, one need only follow a trail of crumbs..... and splatters, and smudges. A few pages have become bonded for life. My favorite muffin recipe has a portion of the opposing page added to the instructions. I learned to cook from this book. And, I came to understand that there is as much math as there is science and art in cooking. Certain ratios of dry to wet ingredients must be respected but can be endlessly adapted in muffins. A cup of liquids to two cups of dry offer plenty of "scope for the imagination." I even remember one of the very first times I made my favorite muffin recipe in the Betty Crocker Cookbook. It was thirty years ago and my brother was visiting with his family. I could tell as I stirred the batter that all the forces of the universe had converged and that these muffins would be perfection. The batter began to rise under the spoon and continued to rise in the oven into golden domes. The perfect tender crumb. A dollop of glistening ruby jam. My brother asked what kind they were and I glanced at the (spattered) page and said, "They're just called Popular Muffins," and he said fervently, "I can see why." Thankyou Betty for giving me such a warm and golden memory.

1 comment:

Sheila said...

love this warm and whimsical tribute :)