My parents got me my first cookbook for my 12th birthday:
Apparently my brother Ryan was in on it too:
The completely ordinary kids on the cover (remember when the media still felt it was OK to represent kids as ordinary?) were making muffins on page 65, and they were the first things I ever baked by myself. And even though the pages of my cookbook are splattered with with batter and becoming increasingly beige, I continue to make them some 28 years later, although now I am not as afraid of the oven as I used to be, and I clean up my messes.
Note about the baking time: they're way off. These usually take more like 15 minutes for me, so check them at 15 and see what you think. Also, I just make 10 of them; the muffins are less puny that way, and really, how many muffins do you need? They're still good the next day if you microwave them for maybe 12 seconds, but beware: that jam turns to LAVA.
I love how a grease stain below "Makes 12 muffins" has caused the letters "od" to appear at the end of the recipe. I have been known to O.D. on these muffins. I don't really need a reason to bake them, but my favorite time by far is on snow days. I like to play what I call Farm Woman: I get bundled up, the earlier in the morning the better, and shovel snow off my car and driveway. Then I come back inside and fix myself a "country breakfast" of eggs and these muffins. Sometimes even tea (hot beverages have always seemed like a luxury to me). Yes, this is the life I would be living if I were a farm woman.
I would also like to say that these are true muffins: humble quick breads that are resolutely not bloated, face-sized morning cakes loaded with chocolate chips, frosting, crunchy toppings, streusel explosions, and the like. They are merely a tastier alternative to toast. Old school muffins forever!
Coincidentally, yesterday Jeff told me that he liked the way I wear my jeans. I asked him what that meant (if I'm getting a compliment, I like to know specifics, otherwise I won't learn). He said that a lot of the women he knows wear their pants in such a way that a roll of fat balloons out over the waistband, and he genuinely believed that this was some kind of trend. I cracked up and explained the concept of "muffin top" to him.