You can serve this loaf year-round— but its cherries give it a pretty Christmasy look. In addition to being a lovely gift, it's something I often include in meals at home. I have also entered my loaf in fairs, where it's always a winner.
I'm a widow (three grown daughters) who enjoys baking and crafting.
When we were farming and raising our three children—now all grown—oatmeal was the "main course" for breakfast many mornings. Often, I'd end up with a cup or so of it left over. So I was glad when my sister-in-law, a war bride from England, asked if I'd like to give her recipe for oatmeal muffins a try!
They're so nice to have with a cup of coffee if someone stops in to visit. They freeze well, too, and keep moist...I take them to our church bake sales.
These days, I also have half a dozen grandchildren to make my muffins for.
There's an interesting country story behind this recipe. I've worked at our local Farm Bureau office for 15 years. A friend on our women's committee developed it to give people new ideas for using farm commodities.
I especially like preparing these muffins for my family on a winter night—along with a big pot of chili, they make for a very hearty meal!
My husband and I have a farrow-to-finish hog operation here on the farm where he was born. We also grow several crops. One son farms with us, we have a grown daughter and our other son just graduated from high school.
This is a delicious recipe I've served many times to my family. I don't always shape the bread into a heart, but it is fun to do that for Valentine's Day or another special occasion. Even if you don't have a heart-shaped pan, garnishing with ribbon adds a colorful touch. One of our favorite meals is this corn bread with bean soup and a salad.
Meet the Cook: When our children come home for the holidays, I make sure to bake this coffee cake. I always use fresh berries in season, then put a few bags in the freezer for later on. That way, we can enjoy this moist cake anytime we want!
-Mildred Schwartzentruber, Tavistock, Ontario