Muffin Mania


It started with banana bread. I have been craving banana bread all week. I would have to buy too many bananas for only one bread, so I thought, I might as well make two and take some in to work. After checking my recipe, I decided against it: A single banana bread takes 60 minutes to bake. Since I only have (currently) one loaf pan, two loaves of banana breads would be two hours. Three loaves, the bare minimum needed to serve the 36 people in my section of the building, would be three hours.

But, any quick bread (non-yeast bread) can be made into muffins. So, after checking a few recipes, I had a plan to make enough muffins for everybody. I had never made lemon poppy seed muffins before, so that was going to be one batch. Of course, I would make some banana muffins, and finally, I remembered some berries were on sale at the grocery store, so I would also make some berry muffins (it ended up being strawberries).

Baking is pretty easy if you follow the instructions closely. Combine the dry ingredients together, combine the wet ingredients together, combine the dry and wet ingredients, add to pan, bake. That wasn't the problem.

The first batch of lemon poppy seed muffins I used 1 tbsp of lemon juice, which was not nearly enough. So, I have 12 poppy seed muffins with no lemon flavor at all.

The second batch of lemon poppy seed muffins I used 2 tbsp of lemon juice, which gives them some lemony flavor, but still not enough. It turns out, you get a lot more lemon flavor from lemon zest than you do from lemon juice. The oils in the zest make the flavor. So, I have 12 lemon poppy seed muffins with a bare hint of lemon flavor.

The next batch of muffins were banana muffins. Mashed bananas are very difficult to measure, and I didn't add enough. So, I have 12 banana muffins with very little banana flavor.

The second batch of banana muffins I added 3 bananas instead of two. These muffins baked up nicely, and have a good flavor. So, out of 48 muffins, I made 12 good ones.

But even those banana muffins are missing... something... Perhaps I'll try some streusel topping next time. Or maybe I'll do something extremely rare for me and add the nuts that most of the recipes call for.

Altogether a disappointing day in the kitchen. Though, last night's spicy tomato and shrimp pasta was again a success. I think, for cost purposes, I'm going to try substituting some chicken instead.