There are to be no muffins for me right now – still living down the sins of Christmas.

But that doesn’t mean I have to hold out on you. Here is one of my all-time favourites – Norma’s classic Banana Bran Chocolate-chip:

1/2 cup oil

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup white sugar (I always use less and always use brown)

2 eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour (I always use whole-wheat)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup bran

1 cup ripe bananas, mashed

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

1. Cream butter, vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs.

2. Sift together flour, salt and baking soda. Sir in the bran.

3. Blend dry ingredients alternately with mashed banans into butter/egg mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Do not overmix.

4. Fill greased muffin tins about two-thirds full with batter.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, depending on your oven.

Makes 12 large muffins. (I never get 12! Always fewer.)

Behold this magnificent muffin:

You’re very welcome.

In our house, there were always muffins – on a tin plate inside a clear plastic bag cinched with a twist tie on the counter, in the freezer. They always had bran in them. Norm always sprays the tin with Pam.

We took them in our school lunches or ate them after school, or ate them in the car on the run. They came to seem as essential as bread and water. What would you do if you were running late and didn’t have a muffin to throw in your satchel and eat on the way? Your blood sugar would drop. And when you’re already prone to intensity, an insulin situation can border on calamity.

As soon as I moved out of my parents’ place, I started making my own. I go through muffin phases. For a while I used muffin wrappers, but eventually allowed Pam into my kitchen, and my heart – a bizarre but handy anomaly in my world, in its pressurized hairspray cannister. I used a heavy hand with pepitas for a while; then it was cornmeal, for the crunch. Always raisin, till Wayne the raisin hater came along. I switched to chocolate chips (many handfuls of them per batch) till we reached a certain point in our relationship, where dividing the batch in half and doing choc for him and raisins for me no longer seemed a sign of ludicrous domestic subservience but an attempt to be generous in our differences.

I declare Muffin Mondays for the rest of the month. I’ll dole out instructions for my favourites muffs, one a week, and I want yours, too, folks. To the comments!

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