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Nineteenth Century Spice Muffins
Old Fashioned Heart
I have a deep interest in all things relating to the past, I definitely think I was born in the wrong era. I have discovered in the last few years my interest in history has sky rocketed. Maybe it has to with age and growing to respect the building blocks from where we all came from. As a kid I was mainly only interested in the World War 2 era. But since then my horizons have seriously broaden. I now have an interest in Colonial America, all British history, mainly Georgian and Regency. As well as Victorian and Edwardian eras, all the way through the late 1910's into the 1940's. I know, I know, nerdy...I am well aware.I think this stems from the discoveries I found while doing my family tree over the last 4 years. For those of you that have not tried Ancestry.com, I urge you to try it! It has been an indescribable journey. While I am not being paid to endorse them, I do stand by them wholeheartedly because I was able to find my father's long lost brother. It is truly the most incredible story, I will definitely dedicate a blog to it sometime in the near future.
Anyway, back to the point of the story. I borrowed an Ebook from the library because the title caught my interest, "At My Grandmother's Table", by Faye Porter. I read a blip about the cookbook and as overjoyed to find out it was a collection of old family recipes that were submitted by other readers, friends, etc. I couldn't contain my excitement as I felt like I had just struck gold. There is something so special about "Old Fashioned" recipes that have been passed down through generations,maybe it is the appeal of handwritten recipes or just purely because they taste better. Grandmothers do it better, most didn't measure quantities, some survived on rations of food and most did not have the convenient resources we have available to us now. They did the best with what they had, which in most cases, turned out to be wonderful creations their family would remember them by. Maybe it was that the ingredients available years ago were not mass produced like they are today, resulting in better flavor or maybe it was because of the love worked into the recipes to make them taste like home. I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that there were actually stories attached to each recipe. It was more like reading a book, than an ordinary cookbook. I found myself being deeply engrossed in these memoirs, as children, grand children, nieces, nephews, and the like, relived wonderful memories of their grandparents.
This recipe called to me, yelled at me...demanded I make it as soon as possible! I urge you to buy or borrow the book and I encourage you to make these muffins...my husband and kids devoured them in minutes. So thank you Faye Porter for publishing this gorgeous book. It made me think of my 90 year old grandmother that left us in March, I miss her desperately, more than words can describe. Here is the link to the cookbook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/at-my-grandmothers-table-faye-porter/1111892049?ean=9781401604882
I give all of the credit to the author of this recipe and the book from which it originated from. I by no means have any creative claim. I think it is perfect as is, the *only* changes I made were 1) To my horror I was completely out of shortening, so I used all unsalted butter and 2) I baked these babies for about 18 minutes, because they were done...but that was probably because my oven runs hot.
- 1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
- 2/3 cup Shortening, (or softened butter, 11 Tablespoons)
- 2 Eggs, beaten
- 2 cups All purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- Powdered Sugar, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray muffin tin or baking cups with cooking spray. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and shortening. Add the eggs, scrape down the sides as needed. In a sifter combine flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
- Add to the bowl and alternate with buttermilk. Mix well. Pour into tins, filling 1/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack before removing from muffin tin.
- Serve plain or dust with powdered sugar