Add a Little Zip to Your Morning – Ginger Crumbled Rhubarb Muffins

Spiked with a warm hit of ginger, rhubarb jam muffins quickly turn the feeling in our home from a dreary shelter in place to cozy and safely tucked-in.

A friend asked to trade some freshly laid eggs for some baked goods. With no dietary restrictions and no allergies I had a blank slate in front of me. I flipped through my mental recipe book of favorites. What a fun task! I visualized braided bread, focaccia, soft pretzels. Then I switched to sweets – mocha bars, monster cookies, blueberry pie. Last summer’s many warm and sunny harvesting days yielded gallons of berries and stalks upon stalks of rhubarb. I had made rhubarb sauce that went so well dolloped on warm brie cheese. I still have a few jars left of this concoction. With the snow falling outside, I thought the ideal baked good should conjure summer days. It was decided – rhubarb muffins. I thought a crumble crown would jazz up a potentially plain looking muffin. A bit of ginger and cinnamon added to the crumble finished out the flavor ensemble. The finished product came out moist and flavorful. A fresh cup of french roast, a rhubarb muffin and a fried egg – now that’s a warm and cozy breakfast!

Ginger Crumbled Rhubarb Muffins


For the crumble

  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch salt
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour

For the muffins

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup rhubarb sauce, or substitute your favorite jam


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Grease a 12-muffin pan. Set aside.
  3. Mix together all crumble ingredients.
  4. Break apart large chunks into pea-sized pieces. Set aside.
  5. For the muffins, in a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, and salt.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, milk, oil, sugar and honey.
  7. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture. Don’t overmix.
  8. Stir in rhubarb sauce.
  9. Evenly divide batter into muffin pan.
  10. Top each muffin with crumble mixture.
  11. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Muffins should be browned and an inserted wooden pick will come out clean when finished.
  12. Let cool on wire rack for about 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Razor Clam Fritters & Wasabi Slaw: Fusion Comfort

Something tried-and-true, something new: clam fritters and wasabi slaw – fusion comfort food.

My dad gave me two pieces of advice which have stood the test of time – 1) Take the stairs whenever you can, and take them two-at-a-time, and 2) eat as much fried food as you can when you’re young, because at some point you won’t be able to.

Clam fritters are so easy, I’m not sure why I don’t make them more often. Although I made these with razor clams, in South Carolina I made them out of the whelks I’d find, and at other times I’ve made them out of canned clams. The slaw is comprised of fairly standard ingredients – mayonnaise (homemade), pickle juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, carrots and cabbage – and given a kick with two teaspoons of powdered wasabi.

The fritters are adapted from Craig Claiborne’s recipe as it appears in The New York Times Cook Book, with the only difference being my substitution of dried tarragon and basil, which I have, for fresh parsley, which I do not have.

Clam Fritters: serves 4


  • 1 cup chopped clams
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped tarragon (or substitute dry tarragon or marjoram)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup clam juice
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp melted butter
  • couple dashes cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • oil for frying


  1. Chop clams on a cutting board. Not too fine. Place them in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the egg, lemon juice, tarragon, baking soda and flour and stir.
  3. Blend the clam juice and milk. Add gradually to the clam mixture, stirring continuously. Do not make the batter too runny.
  4. Stir in the butter, cayenne and black pepper.
  5. Heat about 1/8 inch of oil in a frying pan.
  6. Drop batter in the hot oil – about 2 tablespoons per fritter. (They’ll cook better if they’re fairly small.)
  7. Turn when the bottom is browned, as you would for pancakes.

We served these with salmon sauce. Tarter sauce, shrimp sauce, or a squeeze of lemon works well, too. These seemed to beg for an amber ale. (Or maybe it’s Barbra and me doing the begging after nine months of living in a dry village!) Enjoy!