Refrigerator Bran Muffins (Tweaked)

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The last time I made this big-batch muffin, we really did enjoy the results, but I’ve tweaked the recipe and now we like them even more.  The texture is bit lighter with these changes.   I’ve reduced the all-bran cereal from 4 to 3 cups, increased the natural bran from 2 to 3 cups, and decreased the molasses from 1/2 cup to 1/3 cup.  Otherwise, everything else is the same.

Refrigerator Bran Muffins

3 cups All Bran cereal

2 cups boiling water

1/3 cup of molasses

5 cups of flour

3 cups natural bran

2 1/2 cups brown sugar, lightly packed

1/2 tsp salt

3 tsp baking powder

3 tsp baking soda

4 eggs

1 cup canola oil

4 cups buttermilk

3 cups raisins, rinsed and drained

In a large bowl, pour the boiling water over the All Bran cereal. Let stand. When the mixture has softened and cooled but is still warm, stir in the molasses. In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs together and stir in oil and buttermilk. Slowly add egg and milk mixture into the softened, cooled cereal and combine thoroughly. Meanwhile, in an extra-large bowl, stir together the flour, natural bran, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Make a well in the dry ingredients, add raisins and pour in egg and milk mixture. Gently mix until all ingredients are combined. Use a folding method to avoiding over-mixing. The batter is ready to be stored in the refrigerator and baked as needed. Fill muffin tins about 2/3 full. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes.

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Picklemania

Hubby was busy on the weekend cleaning up the garden.  He found a small treasure trove of cucumbers.  We haven’t had any frost yet, so there they were, soaking up the sun, undisturbed and stealthily growing.  We certainly like fresh cucumbers, but it seemed appropriate to pickle the last of the harvest.  A quick and easy method is refrigerator pickles.  The riffs on this theme seem endless, so I closed my eyes and picked one–fridge dills.  I sliced the cucs, prepped the jars, added lots of fresh dill sprigs and cloves of garlic to the jars, stuffed them with the slices of cuc and then poured boiling hot brine into the jars.  Pretty simple.

Fridge Dills

8 cups water

4 cups white vinegar

1 cup course pickling salt

1/4 cup sugar

12 – 14 smallish to medium cucumbers, ideally pickling variety, but any kind will do in a pinch

4-5 cloves of garlic per jar

3-4 sprigs of fresh dill per jar

In a large pot, heat the water, vinegar, salt and sugar together until salt is dissolved and liquid has come to the boiling point.  Meanwhile, wash four or five quart-size jars and lids.  (The beauty of fridge pickles is that the jars really don’t need to be sterilized, just clean.) Wash and slice cucumbers (or cut into spears).   Peel garlic cloves and separate dill into sprigs.  Divide garlic and dill into jars.  Pack jars with the cucumbers slices, then carefully pour the boiling brine into each jar, filling almost to the rim (the hot brine will cool and contract to the perfect level).  Put lids on the jars (they will be very hot touch!).  Once the jars have cooled to room temperature, store in refrigerator.  You can eat them within 24 hours, but if you wait a week or so, the taste will develop more fully.

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