Good news and bad news out of Fort Wayne today, and it’s the same news: Carol Tannehill is leaving The News-Sentinel. The paper’s ace restaurant critic and feature writer departs soon to become editor of Home Cooking magazine, down Berne way. Alan used to be her boss, and I know how much he relied upon her, and how popular she was with readers.
Some of her best work wasn’t even food-related; she could really write a personal essay. I think my favorite was about her father’s home movies, which were years ahead of their time — on Christmas morning, he made them get out of bed multiple times, so he could get several angles and good coverage shots. She also did an outstanding job describing her breast-reduction surgery, which wasn’t easy, I’m sure.
So that’s the bad news and the good news — bad for the paper, good for her.
In that spirit, of food and journalism, here’s a recipe for pumpkin muffins. I made them tonight and served them with split-pea soup. It’s really too late in the season for that soup, which is wintry, and the muffins are better in fall. But when it’s 30 degrees, I figure it doesn’t really matter. I clipped the recipe from The New-Sentinel oh…two, maybe three redesigns ago. It’s from Jane and Michael Stern’s “Taste of America” column, and the muffins are credited to the Publick House in Sturbridge, Mass. So:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup light vegetable oil
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 12-cup muffin tin, or line with paper muffin cups.
Mix sugar, oil, eggs and pumpkins.
Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt and spices.
Quickly stir together both mixtures and fold in nuts and raisins. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and eat.