There has been an alarming increase in the height of my children recently. It always happens in the spring. They seem to shoot up, as soon as the sun hits. The Teen is near enough my height now, and her sister seems able to look me in the eye a little bit more easily, than I’d care to admit.
And as for the Boy, well he is taking on the appearance of someone who has begun to stretch. Looking just as willowy as his sisters. Watch any of them for long enough, and I swear you can see them growing.
Now, they are not managing this on meal times alone.
The most likely form of extra nourishment, are the homemade goodies I make. The theory is that if I make them, I can keep the snacks on the healthy side. Also there is a limit to how much I can bake/grate/chop.
A big favourite at the moment is raspberry and chocolate chip muffins. Each muffin is practically half raspberries, half muffin. Not overly sweet. Rather yummy, if I say so myself. Our supply of homegrown raspberries has long since run out, so I often find “frozen raspberries” written on my shopping list. Not in my handwriting. A subtle hint to make more.
The good news is that they are incredibly quick to make and bake. I have my muffin making kit piled up ready in the cupboard. I use a cup measure as it’s so much quicker to scoop the ingredients. Speed is of the essence. Especially when you have three children who take it in turns to check if the muffins are ready yet. (Seriously, do they have a rota for who goes in next to scout for muffins?)
Apart from the milk and raspberries, the rest of the ingredients are near by in another cupboard. I reckon I can have these muffins ready to eat within 20 minutes, if not less. I win “best Mama” points if they can smell them baking as they walk up the drive after school. You cannot beat a warm muffin after a hard day
chatting with your friends studying.
So here’s how we make them (when I say we, I mean me):
In first bowl, mix the:
2 cups of self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup of caster sugar
1 cup of frozen raspberries
1/2 cup of semi-sweetened chocolate chips
In second bowl, mix the:
2 tsp of vanilla essence or lemon extract
Also need a muffin tin, lined with 12 paper muffin cases
What to do:
1. Pour the contents of the second bowl into the first, until it is just mixed. Do not over mix.
2. Divide the combined mixture between the 12 muffin cases.
3. For a 2 oven Aga, bake on the third shelf down in the top oven, for about 12-15 minutes, turning the muffin tray around halfway through. For other ovens, bake at 200°c/400°f/ Gas 6 for 15-20 minutes. The muffins are ready when they are golden brown and risen.
4. Take out of the oven. Move the muffins from the tray onto a wire rack to cool.
These muffins never make it beyond the day they are made. I live in hope of putting a batch in the freezer for another day. In all fairness, they are so quick to make, that it’s not a big problem.
More of a challenge is having enough raspberries available, which explains the added request for frozen raspberries to my shopping lists.
My solution is to plant more raspberry canes. I’m aiming to have a row of raspberries this summer. I miss my fruit cage and may have to make a new one. When the Teen was a toddler she used to
be pushed disappear in there, after meals, and feast on all the soft fruit. No need to serve up a pudding. Nothing beats fruit straight from the plant.
Yes. I need to work on my raspberry production.
Grow little raspberry plant. Grow. I have three children waiting for muffins.
They say that when you flip a coin to decide an outcome, you should listen to the voice inside you. As the coin spins mid-air, the chances are that the voice will be urging the coin to land on one particular side. Deep down, this is the option you actually yearn.
It’s true. Taking a step back in time, that decision was there, inside, before you even reached for the coin, but it wasn’t easy to isolate from all the background noise.
The coin flip is a trigger. Creating a moment in time when a decision becomes clear. Not that a coin is the only trigger of this kind. Thank goodness. Otherwise we’d be unable to walk down a street, or sit in a restaurant, without risk of injury from flying coins. Can you imagine?
I seem to have reached a decision on how I want to use this space. Turns out that as soon as I put out there that I might give up this space, my inner voice started yelling. I didn’t want to stop. I just wanted to change my approach to blogging. I’m removing the parts that bug me. I’ve set myself new challenges, which I’m really excited about. The changes are subtle. Hopefully regular readers won’t even notice, but to me it will be refreshing. I need it.
Feels like a moment to put on the kettle and offer a celebrational cake. Too early for anything else.
Which brings me smoothly on to another refreshing choice I’ve made this week. Grapefruit cake.
Our weekly veg/fruit box is delivered at the end of the week. The contents are decided by the supplier which means that inevitably there are some items I wouldn’t have chosen. The day before delivery, I check in the fridge to see what needs using up, and this week two grapefruits stared back at me.
We’re not big grapefruit eaters, which should explain why these particular grapefruits were billy-no-friends in our fridge. Now if they were lemons, I’d make a cake, add it to a drink or maybe cook it with chicken, or salmon, without a hesitation.
First choice would be a lemon cake. I love lemon drizzle cake. More than any other cake.
We used to have a bread lemon tree in our back garden when I was younger. The fragrance was something else, although I think the local children probably enjoyed the actual fruit more than us, as the fruits used to vanish.
I digress. Back to the grapefruits in my fridge. As I stared defiantly back at the grapefruits, I remembered a recipe I’d read, a while ago, for grapefruit cake. It caught my eye as it included the segments, which made me wonder if it would work for lemons. (I don’t think it would, but I might still give it a go.)
I’ll admit it took me a few minutes to reach the point, but once the penny dropped, I accepted that in the absence of lemons, I could make grapefruit cake.
So I did.
It was a big success. Enough for me to contemplate adding grapefruits to my shopping list in future. Can I admit, I was even a tad disappointed that they weren’t in this week’s fruit box!
Want the recipe? Its straightforward. It’s a basic sponge cake, but with added segments and zest.
I reckon that most citrus fruit could be substituted for the grapefuit. It almost feels like a challenge. I might try the kiwi fruit from this week’s box.
Linking up to Sara’s Craft Schooling Sunday