Mormon Muffins

5 tsp. baking soda
2 c. boiling water
1 c. shortening or butter
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
5 c. flour
1 tsp salt
1 quart buttermilk
4 c. All-Bran cereal
2 c. Bran flakes
1 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

In a bowl, stir baking soda and boiling water until dissolved. Cool. In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour and salt in a separate bowl; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Mix well. Beat in the baking soda mixture. Fold in cereals and nuts. Fill greased or paper-lined muffing cups 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until the muffins test done. Muffin batter will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week.