Combine water and baking soda; stir until dissolved. Cool. In a bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Mix well. Beat in the water mixture. Fold in cereals and nuts. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until muffins test done.
Editor's Note: Muffin batter will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week.