Archive | March, 2013

Apple spice muffins

10 Mar

I woke at 6.30 this morning. The Captain was awake and had brought me a cup of Earl Grey. Generally on a Sunday I don’t drink Earl Grey at 6.30am, but the thought was kind.

It was a dull spring day, nothing special.

I didn’t drink the tea, but fell back into a deep sleep till after 9am, when the quality of the light in the room had changed dramatically – there was an inch of snow on the ground and it was still falling.

Spring flowers poking through the snow

Spring flowers poking through the snow

An hour later, after a breakfast of local bacon in a home-made roll, it had cleared up enough for me to venture outside. The plan today was to sort out the greenhouse – perfect snowy weather activity you’d think. Except that the trouble with clearing a greenhouse is that you need somewhere to clear it to, and that somewhere is down the bottom of the garden. And by this time it was blowing a blizzard again.

So, what’s a girl to do but revert to type, retreat indoors and bake?

We had some spare apples and I have some of the loveliest cinnamon ever, which I suspect won’t be so lovely for evermore. Apple spice muffins were the answer.

Apple spice muffins

Prepare muffin tins and preheat oven to 400F / 375C / GM6.

  • 2oz porridge oats
  • 7oz plain flour
  • 3tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • a shake each of ground cloves and ground ginger
  • 3oz caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • a large apple, peeled, cored and chopped finely
  • 6fl oz milk
  • 2fl oz veg oil

And for the topping

  • 3TBsp soft brown sugar
  • 2oz walnuts, chopped
  1. Mix the topping ingredients together and put to one side
  2. Mix together the porridge oats, flour, baking powder, spices and salt
  3. In another bowl whisk  together the egg, milk and oil and then add the chopped apple
  4. Pour all the wet mixture into the dry and stir it till it’s all just combined
  5. Spoon into the prepared muffin tin (that probably means muffin cases in a muffin tin).
  6. Sprinkle a spoonful of topping on each muffin.
  7. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the tops are light brown and the muffins spring back when you gently press them.
  8. Cool for a wee minute, then EAT.
Dry ingredients in a bowl

Dry ingredients in a bowl

Add an egg, without the feather

Add an egg, without the feather

Remember to sprinkle the scrumbly topping on your muffins

Remember to sprinkle the scrumbly topping on your muffins

They're ready when they are golden brown - so about 1 minute before these ones came out slightly burnt!

They’re ready when they are golden brown – so about 1 minute before these ones came out slightly burnt!

My girls

9 Mar

So, we now have five hens: Achilles, Hector and Wee Tommy are hybrids (Lohmann Browns) who have been with us since the Autumn. They give us an egg each pretty much every day. We also now have Betty and Mabel, a white and a blue Wyandotte. They came to live with our girls a few weeks ago and have stubbornly refused to lay. Until now. This week we had FOUR eggs one day. I suspect it’s Big Mabel who is laying, not wee Betty. I can’t imagine that Betty can produce a full sized egg, and all four eggs were bigger than your average, with lovely deep yellow yolks.

Anyway, as you can imagine, we’re eating a lot of eggy dishes these days, and this afternoon will see the production of a souffle for the first time, probably a cheese souffle.

But for now, it’s time for pics of my girls, so here you go, a selection from the last few weeks.

2013-03-02 15.11.15

 

Moby has her eye on the girls

Moby has her eye on the girls

2013-03-02 15.10.38

Mabel isn’t sure about Moby

The girls huddling by the door

The girls huddling by the door

2013-03-02 13.00.37

2013-03-02 13.00.14

 

 

 

 

 

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