One of my greatest places to find recipe ideas is my late Mom’s recipe box. It is one of the resources I am using to write my first cookbook of family recipes. Yes, I’ve finally starting work in ernest on the cookbook I’ve been planning for years! I have been gathering notes and writing snippets for ages but now I’m really going for it. In addition to Mom’s recipe box I also have my Mom and Dad’s recipe books (complete with handwritten notes and additional recipes stuck inside), a recipe book put together by my mom and I and tons of recipes shared by kind family and friends for this purpose at my request. You probably already know how passionate I am about family food history and I can’t tell you how excited I am that work on this as yet untitled labour of love is finally properly under way!
Anyway, as I go through looking for the many recipes I want to include, I often stumble on one that I just can’t wait to share – and this was the case with my Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Muffins. It was one of my favourites when I was a kid. Like nearly all of my family recipes, this one has a story behind it.
It was Mom’s job to visit folks who had bought new appliances from the Public Utilities Commission and teach them how to use them. (Wouldn’t it be nice to have that service now, instead of only receiving a book you have to search through just to find the instructions in your language?) Mom also had a radio show on the local station, sharing recipes and homemaking tips. I believe this recipe may have been from that era as it had ingredients typical to the period – including margarine. Back then, margarine was believed to be a healthier alternative to butter – it’s hard to imagine now.
I remember Mom making these Oatmeal Raisin Muffins and they were one of my favourites. So, I had a play with the recipe to make it a little healthier without losing its originality. The first step was to replace the margarine. I did try using melted butter but in the end I found that mild olive oil (not extra virgin) was the alternative I preferred. I also reduced the sugar and salt and added a little bit more spice. Less sugar, more spice…it was a delicious compromise!
I love working with recipes like this because it makes me feel close to my Mom, who has been gone for seven years now, and who I miss like crazy. She loved cooking and entertaining and was great fun to be with in the kitchen. She was also very into healthy eating so I know she wouldn’t have minded me making the changes that I have. The recipe is still very true to the original and tastes just as I remember it when she made it. Sigh!
Mom used to get a few more muffins per batch than I do (muffins were smaller back in the day). However I find that the batter is absolutely perfect for 12 muffins and as all my muffin pans have 12 cups it works out just right. For UK readers, I’m referring to an ‘American’ muffin pan here – if you are using pans without the deeper cups you will have more muffins but you should reduce the baking time slightly.
- 1 cup all purpose (plain) flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup mild olive oil (not extra virgin)
- 1 cup juicy raisins or sultanas
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C or 170° for a fan oven).
- Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper baking cups.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the egg, buttermilk, vanilla and oil.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until mixed.
- Gently stir in the raisins or sultanas.
- Scoop the batter into muffin cups - I use a quick release ice cream scoop or a ⅓ cup measure to do this.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
- Cool in the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
- Muffins taste best slightly warm but they reheat well the next day.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like Cinnamon Struesel Yogurt Muffins
Shared with Full Plate Thursday, Throw Back Thursday, Foodie Friday, What to Do Weekends, Foodie Friday, Funtastic Friday, Inspire Me Monday, Cooking and Crafting with J&J, What’d You Do This Weekend, Try a Bite Tuesday, Simple Supper Tuesday, Lou Lou Girls