It's been an interesting week. As follow up to the Match Day/ St. Patrick's Day post, M matched for his pediatrics residency at our number one choice, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. There was much celebrating and eating of Irish Soda Bread. We feel very fortunate to have a few more years in Philadelphia. The consensus on Match Day was that our group of friends is perhaps most excited to stay in Philadelphia because, after all, how could we cope with moving away from our foodie scene? The restaurants here are way too good, and our potluck dinners are far too vibrant, to leave behind.
I was happy. I baked peanut butter banana muffins. They are my favorite.
There is so much comfort in biting into this soft, light muffin. And if you love peanut butter as much as I do, there is perhaps nothing more wonderful than the deep flavors of creamy peanut butter and the crunch of roasted peanuts to make you feel like the luckiest girl alive. Sometimes it is the simple things, really.
The happiness of Match Day was offset by the passing of my uncle yesterday, my father's brother. It was a day I spent in a fog. I only wanted to be out of Philadelphia and home, in Connecticut, with the rest of my family. My father and I share an intense love of all things peanut butter. If I could not be close to my father in person, I could turn to the one thing that never fails to provide provided me with the comfort of familiarity.
I slowly pulled apart a muffin and watched the crumbs roll down the plate. I did not recognize my hunger, but when I took that first bite, I felt famished. In eating that muffin, I was somehow transported home, to a peanut butter loving family who were all together without me. These are the reasons that food is more than a just way to live. Food is life, shared and experienced.
And for the moment those muffins were more than peanut butter and banana goodness. They were connection, emotion, memory, and comfort.
1 1/2 cups ripe banana, mashed (about 3 large)
1/3 cup banana flavored yogurt (you can also use plain or vanilla)
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3 T. butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cups white flour
3/4 cups wheat flour
1/4 cup flaxseeds (whole or ground)
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/8 t. pumpkin pie spice (or allspice)
1/8 cup chopped peanuts
cooking spray and a muffin tin
Preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients until well incorporated. Next, add both the granulated and brown sugars and beat until well blended.
Spoon the flour into measuring cups for accuracy, then in a separate small bowl combine the flour with the remaining ingredients. In small batches add the flour mixture to the wet banana mixture, beating only until it's just incorporated.
Pour the batter into the greased muffin pan, about 3/4 full for each. Bake about 20 minutes or until puffed and slightly golden. A toothpick inserted should come out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan to cool completely.