Work-Shirking, Anti-Feminist Spiced Banana Walnut Muffins

Of course, my title is ridiculous, but I was so taken with a recent article in O, “Muffin Manifesto” by Suzan Colón, that I had to repeat that line. The gist of her article is that, as the economy turned sour and she became self-employed, she turned to baking as aroma-therapy. While for her baking was simply a happy, mind- and body-occupying pursuit of pleasure, her friends acted as if she were “setting feminism back 30 years.” Fascinating.

I relate so much to the idea of her interest in cooking for her family being misinterpreted by her peers. I, too, have been taken aback when people view my blog as some kind of statement about their own relationship with food and cooking. As I always say, we all have the same number of hours in the day. While I spend more of them cooking from scratch than most of my peers, I then choose not to do scads of other things: garden, clean, sew, build, shop, watch TV, etc., let alone work full-time. Cooking (and blogging about cooking) is a very personal pursuit that brings me a kind of joy and peace that I find in few other corners of my life. When faced with others who seem to have taken the frequency and fervor with which I cook personally, I want to reply, “But it’s not about you!”

So, the muffins... at the end of the article is the author’s recipe for her favorite muffins, adapted to be healthier than typical muffin recipes. I was drawn to this because a) my people love a good muffin and b) I had a bunch of overripe bananas taking up counter space.

The finished product has finally been sampled by all and I would say it earned five stars all around. Made with applesauce, vegetable oil, egg and a few mashed bananas, these muffins are incredibly moist, even 24 hours after they were baked. And with the addition of cardamom and orange zest to the to-be-expected cinnamon, they have a wonderful, dynamic flavor. This recipe also gave me a chance to use my brand-new microplane rasp grater (thank you Aunt Eloise), which I love, love, love!

The only change I made to the recipe was to omit the nutmeg. I hate nutmeg (sorry Mom... I dislike it intensely). Otherwise, we got eight tasty, relatively healthy muffins from a recipe for six and everyone had a nourishing snack this afternoon before cleaning out the sandbox. Three cheers for summer vacation and overripe bananas!