Let’s talk (read: complain) about college food for a second. I realize we are pretty spoiled when it comes to food at Harvard; we have 13 dining halls for only 6000 people, all of which serve endless buffets three times a day, and they have things like fried plantains and mussels and clams (I’ve heard that they used to do lobsters too, before budget cuts. Tragic.) But it’s still just dining hall food: everything is edible, but nothing is amazing. The spaghetti is always undercooked or overcooked, nothing is seasoned enough, and the salad bar never seems to have feta when I want it.
I know, life is hard.
There are, however, a few highlights among the d-hall foods. The waffles, for instance:
And yes, that is the Harvard Veritas logo stamped into my waffle. Veritas + Waffle = Veritaffle. It’s so pretentious that it’s kind of endearing.
I also really like the muffins they serve in the mornings. They’re warm and soft, and make getting out of bed at the butt crack of dawn (as in, 10 a.m.), that much more bearable. My favorites are the corn muffins; they’re slightly too sweet, but they have that earthy cornmeal flavor and texture while still being light and fluffy. Plus I’m from Indiana, so it’s kind of a requirement that I love corn. Hoosier pride.
These cranberry walnut muffins are light and soft, and have just the right amount of sweetness and hard-to-describe corn flavor. This recipe is also super easy, and can be made in about 30 minutes flat, from prepping to clean up.
And now, I’m off to go stuff myself with Italian food before I have to
enjoy school food again.
Cranberry Walnut Corn Muffins
Yields: 12 Muffins
1 cup cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cup buttermilk (or 1 ½ cup milk mixed with 1 tablespoon white vinegar)
¼ cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries
½ cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Set the mixture aside.
- In another bowl, mix together the buttermilk, and baking soda.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until just combined. Stir in the butter, honey, and vanilla extract.
- Fold in the cranberries and pecans.
- Pour batter into a greased muffin pan, and bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.
- Let cool until just warm, and serve.