If I were a grandmother long gone or still kicking it with the best of ’em, I’d want to be memorialized with a wild story or two in remembrance of a life well lived, loving God, family and friends — with a few out-of-character tales added for good measure.
I want to leave this world making a mark upon the hearts that I hold dear. Being remembered for the recipes I pass down and the meals I made on the fly aren’t the only accomplishments I want under my belt. Though I live to hear “Mom’s Fire Chicken is the best I’ve ever had,” I was thrilled when I was venting to my grown child about someone giving me their unsolicited opinion while they, themselves, and their own behavior could use a bit of cleaning up, and he replied with, “Well, you always said, ‘The truth is still the truth no matter who it comes from.’”
Though that little nugget of wisdom was born out of a need to conjure self-reflection in a broken world full of imperfect people, I realized I’m making an impact. They’re listening. They’re watching. They see you, Momma. They know who you are by what you say and do.
When your words live on past the grave, make sure they’re sweet and savory and full of wisdom. A recipe for living is just as delicious as this recipe for my famous orange cranberry muffins.
Cranberries have made their debut. When that happens, I always think of one recipe: orange cranberry cake that I used to make around Thanksgiving. I sold it at the little cafe. I used to have these specially made baking tins to make the perfect little loaves. Since they’re in storage, I decided to make the same recipe into muffins.
Pumpkins seem to get all the love around this time of year. I’m not having it this year. Cranberries are an underrated, spectacular fall flavor I’m crazy about. The holidays are just around the corner and I can’t believe I’m giving out this recipe. Just tell them who gave it to you — me, the wannabe grandma.
Orange Cranberry Muffins
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup yogurt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Zest of 2 oranges
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. milk
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, lightly chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. In a bowl, mix the butter with sugars, vanilla, milk, and eggs. Add in the other ingredients and mix well. Spoon into the muffin liners to 3/4 from the top and bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.