Realizing that the now full-term baby in my belly could come any day now, it was time to prepare something for my husband and midwives to snack on while they alternate helping me in labour. I don’t recall what we gave them during the birth of my son, just over two years ago, but I can assure you that it was nothing that I had made. I thought that the Cranberry-bran muffin recipe would be perfect, since muffins are an any-time-of-day treat. Plus, I figured that freezing a package of them would be great for when I go into labour – we could throw them into the hospital bag, thaw them out in the delivery room and be ready to eat when my helpers got hungry.
Secret: I had never made muffins before! But I had most of the ingredients on hand from recent recipes: ground allspice and molasses from the Gingerbread cookie recipe, and buttermilk which I already knew how to make from doing the Best buttermilk pancakes recipe. I did need to run out to pick up natural wheat bran, so I went to our local bulk and organic variety store and tried to find ‘natural wheat bran’ amongst the many bins filled with similarly coloured fine powders. I asked the owner if he carried any natural wheat bran and although he didn’t, he advised me that oat bran would work fine in a muffin recipe. Being pretty relatively new to baking, the thought of a substitution never occurred to me. I purchased the oat bran and went home to make muffins for the first time. How exciting!
The preparation time is 25 minutes, which I’m sure is accurate if you aren’t fielding phone calls (from Statistics Canada to clarify one of my answers on the 2011 Census) and text messages (‘Have you had your baby yet?’) or answering the door to the water meter reader man. It took me nearly an hour just to prepare the batter and I nearly forgot to add the buttermilk due to the meter reader interruption. It takes some getting used to being at home on weekdays – I was used to working at an office, even during my pregnancy. I don’t recall any of these interruptions on my weekdays off as a flight attendant, but then again, I probably wouldn’t have been baking either!
I finally got the muffins in the oven, set the oven timer, and was excited to watch them rise through the window in the oven door. Yes, they were rising and yes, they looked like muffins. Yippee! As usual, with any new baking attempt, I had a hard time waiting for them to cool down before trying one. And who doesn’t love butter melting all over a warm muffin?
I think these muffins will be a hit with the midwives. They certainly were for my family. Our two-year-old asked for one for breakfast instead of his daily porridge.