I can remember when I considered making thanksgiving dinner a week-long affair. Making shopping lists, doing the shopping and then starting to cook at least three days ahead of time. I don’t know what it is, but this year it just seemed really easy. I guess I have been doing this for a while…
Actually, we don’t do Thanksgiving every year. We’re in Italy, where, let’s face it, it’s just not a big deal. But this year I decided to have a couple of families up to Todi, for Turkey and all the trimmings.
Pumpkin soup, Turkey, blah, blah, blah…Another dinner party with a slightly bigger bird. All this to say that by the day of our feast (Saturday, since that is our ex-pat tradition) I had everything pretty much under control. Soup made. Broth made. Turkey stuffed. I had even made two sides and a pumpkin pie. So, it was 11:00am, guests weren’t arriving till 4. What to do?
I had picked up a pack of fresh cranberries at Campo dei Fiori. My friend Eugenia said she was bringing sauce, but you never know. Back up cranberries – even when they cost 8 euros a bag- are always a good idea. I had also brought up a bag of pecans from the freezer in Rome. Where did they come from? Who knows. But it seemed a good idea to use them for something.
So, double batch of Cranberry Pecan Muffins. I knew my guests would arrive hungry, but we weren’t going to eat until 7:30. And I made so many, I knew there would be plenty for breakfast.
To answer your questions about the photos. I didn’t have paper muffin liners, so used little squares of baking parchment, a trick I learned from Mona Talbott at the Rome Sustainable Food Project. And yes, as I was putting them into the basket, I thought I have definitely passed in front of Martha and am turning into border-line Bree. But they are pretty, aren’t they?
Cranberry Pecan Muffins.
Makes 24 Muffins
4 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/3 cups milk
12 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup pecans, broken into large pieces
Preheat oven to 200C (400F)
Sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
In large bowl, combine eggs, milk and butter, mix well. Add sugar, mix.
Add dry ingredients, but do not over mix.
Divide into 24 muffin cups.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.