Recipe: Bran muffins by Aunt Fran
By Anna Trapido, 28 April 2020
I am finding striking similarities between my response to the COVID-19 crisis and psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s five stages of grief theory. First set out in her 1969 book On Death and Dying, Kübler-Ross postulates a series of emotions experienced by terminally ill patients prior to death and/or people who have lost a loved one, wherein the five stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. At present my progression through these emotional steps is daily and seldom sequential.
For the moment I am lucky enough to be also experiencing an additional emotion which I think is a sort of pseudo-survivor’s guilt. So far, everyone I know remains healthy and I have sufficient funds to sit out the siege in my comfortable house with internet, electricity and running water. I am not crammed into an informal settlement or a prison or a domestic violence refuge. I know I am extremely lucky. The survivors guilt loops back into denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Nothing can entirely assuage the survivor guilt – although donating to good causes does help. The only thing I know that helps with the five original stages described above is muffins. Specifically, my aunt Fran’s bran muffins. They taste great. They are quick and easy to make – wet ingredients are briefly mixed into dry. There is no bicep-building creaming together of butter and sugar required. All the measurements are in cups so there is no need to get the scale out. They always rise which offers a fleeting sense of certainty in uncertain times. Best of all the mixture can be kept in the fridge for up to a month and baked off in batches. This gives me, an albeit limited, faith in the future.
This recipe makes 20 medium muffins.
Bran muffin recipe ingredients
- 2.5 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 cups bran
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2.5 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
- 2 eggs
- ½ a cup oil
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups cake fruit mixture or raisins
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease as many muffin pans as you mean to make in this batch of baking or use paper muffin cases.
- Combine the flour, bran, sugar, bicarb and dried fruit in a large bowl.
- In a second bowl beat together the eggs, oil and milk.
- Mix the wet into the dry until they are combined into a batter of dropping consistency.
- The mixture will keep uncooked in the fridge for up to 30 days (although I know no one with the will power to keep it that long).
- Fill muffin cases/ tin indentations ¾ full.
- Bake at 180˚C until they are golden brown and a tooth pick comes out clean if inserted into a muffin (about 15 minutes).
The sensible beverage to pair with muffins would be a cup of tea but in these strange times, a glass of Muscadel is recommended.
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