“I’ve always thought there was something very foreign about high spirits at breakfast.”
– Mr. Charles Carson, Downton Abbey.
Downton Abbey is the ultimate exploration of early-twentieth century domesticity. Within a single episode, we get a view into the “upstairs” existence of the Abbey’s owners as well as a view into the “downstairs” habits of the individuals who fuel the Abbey’s engine. I love both views with equal measure but my favourite scenes are, not surprisingly, the eating and cooking scenes that occur on both planes of domestic life.
I love watching Mrs. Patmore and Daisy concocting high-cuisine for the upper crust of British society. I love watching the butlers serve ruby red wines in fine crystal. And I love, most of all, watching the downstairs dinners, which, truth be told, seem much more inviting and desirable. Downstairs, the Abbey staff break bread at a rustic, wooden table and slurp soup that seems far more comforting than anything they might be eating upstairs.
In a recent episode, Head Butler Mr. Carson’s statement about the oddness of high energy and happiness at breakfast rang particularly true with me. While I love to get up early, I also love to take things slow. The presence of loud speech or gregarious smiles just seem uncanny in the early hours of the day.
About all I can manage in the morning is a cup of coffee and a bit of solitary baking…
Might I suggest you do the same? My Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are uncomplicated and easily made with ingredients in your pantry. Simple is best in the morning, don’t you think?
You’ll need three very ripe bananas (mush them up with a fork), a little oil, and a good egg.
Last? The money maker. Chocolate chips. Fold them in with a gentle hand.
Into a muffin tin and into the oven! Simple as that.
Domestic Deborah’s Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes 9-10 medium-sized muffins
3 ripe bananas
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup honey Tip: measure honey in the same measuring cup as your oil (this way, the honey will slide out easily when you add it to the recipe)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 ½ cups flour (white or whole wheat; you choose.)
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
½ cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl, mash up bananas with a fork. Add oil and egg and whisk to combine.
Next, add honey and brown sugar. Once again, whisk to combine.
Switch to a wooden spoon. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt. Fold until just combined. Add chocolate chips and incorporate gently. Spoon into a greased muffin tin, filling the cups up 2/3 of the way with batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick tester reveals only a few wet crumbs. Allow to cool 5 minutes in pan and then remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack (unless you like your muffins warm and gooey... in which case, eat promptly!)