Thursday, July 22, 2010
Green Muffin Cases
My inner Scrooge really loves the whole green movement – Reduce Reuse Recycle is a great excuse to save the pennies and polish your halo at the same time. No longer are you stigmatized as being stingy when you re-use your shopping bags, you are now a green heroine, nobly saving the planet as you shop.
Paper muffin cases are a case in point. We bake muffins every week, often double batches for school bake sales. I used to use muffin cases all the time. It’s easier and more convenient. But if you think about it, that piece of paper just becomes litter within minutes, if the kids pounce on the muffins straight away, and it’s just one more non-essential to add to the weekly shop. So I stopped using paper muffin cases most of the time for home-baking, and it wasn’t a big deal at all. I just had to soak the tins a bit before washing them.
And yet there are times when a paper case really does make a difference, like when you are trying out a chocolate chip muffin recipe and envisage gooey melted chocolate going to waste all over the tins. Of course I now had no paper muffin cases in the house after my frugal/green spree of conscientiousness. I’d also nearly run out of baking paper for the same reason, just a few odds and ends left over from a series of cakes, which left me with the stash of butter papers in the fridge.
When I was growing up, butter papers were always saved in the fridge. They knew about frugality in those days, having grown up with rationing and wartime shortages and lived through Seventies coal miners' strikes and all. Saving butter papers was a habit that transferred itself to me, despite our generation's prodigality. A fridge full of butter papers generally isn’t all that much use, not very zen either, cluttering up the place. Quite handy for greasing baking trays, but that’s about it. Except when you need muffin cases at the last minute.
I think they worked perfectly – perhaps not very elegant, but they have a certain green chic about them, don’t you think?!
But perhaps the scraps of baking paper made the more elegant version. They make me think of The Sound of Music, a drift of nuns in sparkling white wimples…
And Marisa's chocolate muffin recipe? The kids loved them, in fact Middle Daughter made them all by herself. Me, I'm holding out for dark chocolate chips for the next batch, with the good dark Nomu cocoa, but then that would be my inner chocoholic, who vanquishes the inner Scrooge every time.