One day I was sorting through several boxes of old photos and keepsakes belonging to my late father-in-law, Robert Munday, and I came upon an old scribbler from the Oshawa School Board.
Inside was a treasure trove; sixty-seven different muffin recipes from Robert’s mother Dorothy (Holland) Munday, all written in a beautifully precise hand and carefully numbered to match up with the index inside the front cover.
I love to cook but I don’t have much patience for baking. Each year I make two pies for the holidays, stressing out myself and everyone around me as I fret about the crust. My cakes fall, my bread doesn’t rise, and unless I have parchment paper my cookies never turn out.
Muffins, though, are very forgiving.
Anyone can make muffins. Even me. Even when I have all three of my kids helping me. Even when I’m working – I am a home daycare provider – I can still sit six young children around the table and we can all make muffins together. And they always turn out.
Muffins may be the perfect baked good.
This collection has every kind of muffin: sweet and cakey, dense and healthy (so much bran!), and the strange, long-defunct savory muffin. The ingredients reflect the knowledge and trends of the time; there is lots of shortening, margarine, white flour, sugar. Some are named for people; others for specific times or places.
I want to try them all.
And so we have this blog, where I’ll bake one recipe from the book each week. In order. I’ll follow the recipe as written even when my healthy-eating soul is cringing. Along the way there will be humour, frustration, history, memories… anything that takes my fancy.
I hope you’ll come along. All recipes will be posted and I encourage you to share them. This collection was a labour of love for Dorothy, and I know she’d be glad to share them with a whole new generation of families.