Squash Muffins

It only took two months to gain about 10 pounds after I started my first full-time job. Back then, even back then, in the dinosaur era, when the only yogurt you could find easily was Dannon (in maybe 6-7 flavors), I brought a yogurt to the office. I was a freshman attorney in a big, bustling law office on Wall Street. I was so clueless then I didn’t realize that the proper office hours were NOT from 8:00 a.m., when I liked to get in (so I could also leave early and have a life), but 10:00 or 10:30 (and then have dinner with the team and come home late). I brought in my yogurt and ate it early, but then, when the rest of the lawyers came to work, they would bring like a full American breakfast: eggs, hash browns, bacon, toast. So, in order to try to be part of the team and a little less clueless, I ordered in breakfast too. Usually it was a blueberry muffin and some juice. Those blueberry muffins cost me 10 pounds. But I did learn three things. One, I could never consume an “American breakfast” at my desk. It always reminded me of how bad your car smells when you have french fries wrapped up in a paper bag getting all soft and steamy. Two, that food writing pays a lot less but has been an infinitely better career for me than working day and night as a lawyer. Three, that I love, love, love muffins. Blueberry muffins sometimes, pumpkin or squash muffins now, when the scent of autumn spices is so alluring. Squash Muffins 4 tablespoons butter 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup sugar 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger 1 cup buttermilk 1 cup mashed squash 1 large egg 1/2 cup golden raisins, optional Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 10 muffin tin cups. Melt the butter and set it aside to cool. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a bowl. Place the buttermilk, squash, egg and melted butter in a second bowl and beat to blend ingredients thoroughly. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix just until combined. Fold in the raisins if used. Fill muffin cups evenly with the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the muffins cool for 15 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and serve warm or let cool to room temperature. Makes 10

It only took two months to gain about 10 pounds after I started my first full-time job.

Back then, even back then, in the dinosaur era, when the only yogurt you could find easily was Dannon (in maybe 6-7 flavors), I brought a yogurt to the office. I was a freshman attorney in a big, bustling law office on Wall Street. I was so clueless then I didn’t realize that the proper office hours were NOT from 8:00 a.m., when I liked to get in (so I could also leave early and have a life), but 10:00 or 10:30 (and then have dinner with the team and come home late).

I brought in my yogurt and ate it early, but then, when the rest of the lawyers came to work, they would bring like a full American breakfast: eggs, hash browns, bacon, toast.

So, in order to try to be part of the team and a little less clueless, I ordered in breakfast too. Usually it was a blueberry muffin and some juice. Those blueberry muffins cost me 10 pounds.

But I did learn three things. One, I could never consume an “American breakfast” at my desk. It always reminded me of how bad your car smells when you have french fries wrapped up in a paper bag getting all soft and steamy.

Two, that food writing pays a lot less but has been an infinitely better career for me than working day and night as a lawyer.

Three, that I love, love, love muffins. Blueberry muffins sometimes, pumpkin or squash muffins now, when the scent of autumn spices is so alluring.

Squash Muffins

4 tablespoons butter

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup mashed squash

1 large egg

1/2 cup golden raisins, optional

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 10 muffin tin cups. Melt the butter and set it aside to cool. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a bowl. Place the buttermilk, squash, egg and melted butter in a second bowl and beat to blend ingredients thoroughly. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix just until combined. Fold in the raisins if used. Fill muffin cups evenly with the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the muffins cool for 15 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and serve warm or let cool to room temperature. Makes 10