Remember my vow to pare down this cookbook collection of mine? The one I thought was out of control?
I learned something recently. Actually, I learned three things:
- I lack the necessary focus to stay on any cleaning project for longer than 1 week. Oh heck, even a day is pushing it.
- I lack the necessary focus to be a real collector.
- Real collectors are weird. Like, really, really weird.
Do a little Google search on weird collections and you’ll find some pretty kooky stuff. Like this:
But my personal favorite has to be Graham Barker, who holds the Guinness Record for… wait for it… Navel Lint!
It would be easy to make fun of these people. Actually, I fully planned on making fun of these people. But… well, just look at their faces!
Do you see how happy they are? Their collections are a part of who they are. It’s their own special brand of quirkiness. And in a way, it represents their battle against the ordinary and mundane.
Who am I to judge?
As for the navel lint guy — you know, of the bunch, he actually sounds the most interesting. You gotta admit, it’s not every day you meet a man who keeps his belly button fuzz in a glass jar. Here’s his site, in case you want to get in touch and discuss your own navel findings.
So anyway, what led to my sudden interest in collectors is that while I’ve never thought of myself as one, I might have accidentally started the process with Williams-Sonoma cookbooks.
It started innocently enough, as these things normally do, with a used copy of their Muffins & Quick Breads.
The recipes were great, which led to the purchase of Breakfasts & Brunches. That led to the acquisition of Pies and Tarts.
What happened after that is kind of a blur. I may have blacked out.
It’s the only explanation for why I bought the cookbook Shellfish. Considering no one in the family eats shellfish.
Anyway, if a collection was indeed starting, it’s now ending. Of the nine books, I’m keeping four, as they’re the only ones I use.
The recipe I’m sharing with you today is for Husband’s favorite muffins. In fact, he loves them so much that if I make any other kind of muffin, he’s disappointed.
The problem is, he’s out of town right now and it might hurt his feelings if he knew I baked a batch for you. So we have to keep this on the hush-hush.
Cinnamon Crunch Muffins
From Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library: Muffins & Quick Breads
Note: The original recipe calls for shortening, but I make it with butter
- 3 cups flour (I used 2 cups all-purpose and 1 cup oat flour)
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2/3 cup butter (a little less than 11 Tablespoons)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup buttermilk
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and the ginger. Add the butter and mix the ingredients together with a fork until thoroughly combined and crumbly (I use my hands; it makes it more fun).
Remove 2/3 cup of the mixture to a small bowl. To this, add the nuts and remaining 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Set aside to use for the topping.
To the large bowl, add the baking powder and baking soda and stir to combine. Add the eggs and buttermilk and stir just until blended.
Spoon into greased muffin pan, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Sprinkle each muffin with about 1 tablespoon topping. Bake at 375º until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing. Makes 18 standard muffins.
Prepare to wow your family with homemade goodness.
How about you? Are you a collector?
Do you live with one? (Poor thing!)