My husband and his siblings are fond of sharing the many stories about "Aunt Jessie," a close friend of the family. Although Jessie never had children of her own, she doted on those of her friends and family. This very afternoon, my sister-in-law related the tale of being 8 years old and hiding in the bedroom closet to dodge Auntie's generous hugs and moist kisses... only to discover her brother was already there, hiding as well!
I had the privilege of meeting Jessie many years ago, and despite our age difference, it was as if we had always been friends. I will always admire her love of life and her gift for making friends, even into her nineties. Her warmth was all the more remarkable given the hardships and losses she had experienced in her life.
Jessie ends her recipe with, "These are light tasty muffins every time." She's right! —Windischgirl
14 to 18
brown sugar, lightly packed
corn oil or other neutral oil
oat bran (Jessie specified Quaker "cooking bran")
Heat the oven to 425° F. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, salt, sugar, oil, and vanilla.
In a second bowl mix the bran, flour, wheat germ, and baking soda.
Prepare the dates by cutting them into bite-size pieces. If they are hard, cover them with simmering water, let soak for 20 to 30 minutes, and drain well. Cut when cool. Add to the flour mixture and toss to coat.
Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Blend together being careful not to over-mix. The batter will be runny.
Jessie would lightly grease her muffin tin with margarine and then line with paper muffin cups. I used paper liners lightly greased with cooking spray. Fill about 3/4 full; for my tin, this was about 1/4 cup of batter, and I used a ladle to fill the cups. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.