Like many Canadians, neither of my parents were born or raised here. My dad is Hungarian (hence our last name, which loosely translates to “from the city of the nuts”, which I think is fairly appropriate for us), and left Budapest during the Communist era to claim refugee status in Austria. At the time, refugees had to apply for immigration to another country, and would only be allowed to stay in Austria if they were rejected. Wanting to stay in Vienna, my dad applied to Canada, which wasn’t accepting many immigrants. Of course, he was accepted, and here I am.
My dad likes to tell me stories about how easy I have it. He has his own legitimate version of the proverbial having to walk ten miles in the snow to school in shoes he made himself: after arriving in Vancouver unable to speak English, the bus drivers’ union went on strike and he had to walk for two hours in the pouring rain every day to get to and from his English lessons.
My dad is stubborn, opinionated, driven and a die-hard carnivore (potatoes are also acceptable). He thinks my experimentation with veganism is ridiculous – although I did get a verbal admission that yoga might be okay, if only to improve balance. But he’s also my professional cheerleader, someone who shares (and probably gave me) my weird and politically incorrect sense of humor, a willing and honest dessert taste-tester, and my mechanic (perhaps one of the more important roles as I am female and Asian – there goes that political incorrectness again).
Anyway, in honour of a certain non-vegan Hungarian on Fathers’ Day, I give you a recipe for something else we have in common: our favorite muffin varietal, cranberry orange. Made vegan, and non-Hungarian, because we can’t let him get too full of himself – and he still likes them anyway.
Cranberry Orange Muffins
Adapted from The PPK
One cup all-purpose flour
One cup pastry flour
Two thirds cup sugar
Two teaspoons baking powder
One teaspoon baking soda
Half teaspoon salt
One cup fresh squeezed orange juice
Half cup canola oil
Two tablespoons orange zest
One tablespoon vanilla
Two cups frozen cranberries
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin pan.
Sift the dry ingredients (including the sugar) together. Make a well in the centre, and add in all the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Stir in the cranberries.
Scoop batter into the muffin cups – I like to fill them almost full so I get nice round muffins.
Bake for 30 minutes (give or take a few). Use the clean toothpick test to make sure they’re done.