Mildred “Brownie” Schrumpf used to grace these pages and was my predecessor here at the Bangor Daily News. I supplied my own shoes to wear while writing this column, knowing I could never fill hers.
Karen Tolstrup has written a biography of Brownie, and she will speak about Brownie and sign books from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at the Page Farm and Home Museum in Orono. Even if you can’t get to the signing, you might like to read “If Maine Had A Queen,” a biography of Brownie published by Northeast Folklore. The program is co-sponsored by the Orono Historical Society. (For more information, contact the Page Farm and Home Museum at 581-4100.)
Back in January, I heard Tolstrup speak about Brownie’s life and work and was so interested to hear about the things she accomplished and cared about. Then I was lucky enough to find a copy of “Memories from Brownie’s Kitchen,” a compilation published in 1989 of 37 years of recipe collecting.
Brownie and I have a couple of things in common: cooking from scratch, getting recipes from friends and neighbors, greeting with joy each vegetable and fruit in season as it appears.
Also this weekend, Page Farm and Home Museum is having its Old Fashioned Apple Fest with an apple recipe contest. So in honor of the Apple Fest and Brownie, I thought I would offer up an apple recipe from Brownie. The Applesauce Muffins from “Memories” sounded very good to me.
In her recipe Brownie reminds us that the only sweetening comes from the applesauce, so you may rather consider these as a breakfast muffin than as a sweet muffin for a tea party. The apple flavor is not pronounced in the finished muffins, but they are very moist.
You know, don’t you, that you can make your own cinnamon sugar merely by stirring together a couple of tablespoons of sugar with a shake or so of cinnamon.
Makes a dozen muffins.
1 cup cornmeal
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
ª cup sweetened applesauce
½ cup milk
1 egg beaten
¼ cup vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Sift the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl. Add the applesauce, milk, egg and vegetable oil. Mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Fill greased muffin cups about two-thirds full, and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a tester inserted comes out clean.