Whenever I want to get back in my Mother's good graces, I cook her something she really likes. I know... what is a woman like me, a mother and grandmother, doing coddling up to her mother at my age? Well, if you have to ask the question, you don't know about mothers, particularly Cuban mothers.
The art of the guilt trip is something that is practiced and perfected and passed on from mother to daughter and from generation to generation. I have never mastered the skill... believe me, I have always wanted to.... it works sooo well...but I guess I'm just missing THE gene. Or maybe I hated it so much over the years I refused to work "the magic" on my daughter. As a matter of fact, often without realizing it, SHE works it on Me. I guess the gene can skip a generation.
Primarily "the guilt trip" only works on girls...boys get off scott free, they just get handled by Dad, and dads are not guilt trip oriented since they don't have the gene either. Sometimes, they too can be the recipients of the "guilt trip"! (How do you think Mom got all her jewelry!) If you think Jewish mothers have a monopoly on this art, and it IS an art, don't bet on it until you meet a Cuban mother, particularly a Catholic one..
Anyway, today I did something that got me "the guilt trip", big time. I must admit I deserved it...maybe just a little...so on the way home all I could think of was how to do damage control.. and then I remembered the blueberries in the refrigerator and her favorite muffins, Jordan Marsh's Blueberry Muffins.
For those of you too young to remember, Jordan Marsh and Burdine's were THE department stores here in Miami. Two or three times a year in the 1950s we came to Miami to shop and load up on goodies to take back home to Havana. Both of these stores had really nice restaurants, but Jordan Marsh was famous for its blueberry muffins.
Jordan Marsh was a Boston-based department store founded in 1841 by Eben Jordan and Benjamin L. Marsh. With the rise of retail conglomerates, Jordan Marsh became part of Allied Stores (1931) and then Federated Department Stores (1988), a move that renamed all stores, including the flagship store in Boston, Macy's. The Jordan Marsh flagship store was home to the legendary Enchanted Village, an elaborate holiday display which, at times, spanned an entire floor of the store in addition to its windows. Perhaps even more legendary were Jordan Marsh's bakeries. Infamous, however, were the blueberry muffins. A December 2004 Boston Globe article put it best: "For decades, any decent downtown shopping trip ended at Jordan Marsh, where the promise of a sugar-crusted blueberry muffin could make annoying children angelic."
The store closed a while back but the recipe has been passed around from generation to generation, just like "the guilt trip". Bingo!...that must have been what reminded me of it... It is my Mother's favorite muffin recipe and one that makes her smile, forgive and, hopefully, forget!
(don't bet on the latter...)
- 1/2 c. butter
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 2 c. flour
- 1/2 c. milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 pint (2 cups) blueberries
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Grease and flour a 12 cup muffin tin
Cream together shortening, and sugar.
Add baking powder and eggs and mix well.
Add flour, milk and vanilla, mix well. Add a pinch of salt.
Add blueberries - mash 1/4 a little before you add and the rest add whole
Wait 10 min., and mix again (you get bigger muffins this way)*
Fill the muffin cups to the top of the pan.
Sprinkle some sugar on top of each muffin.
Bake at 450 degrees F for 5 minutes.
Drop the temperature to 350 degrees F and bake an additional 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
Cool and remove from pan.
*this is my trick, not JM's
Last time I made 3/15/17 I baked at 450 for 10 minutes and 30 minutes at 350. If you like a crunchier top, this is it!