Wednesday, February 23, 2011

yesterday I made muffins

learning a few tricks of the trade. a few little hints. inspired to cook again!

[with the Blue Mountains Slow food group - at Jemby Rinjah Eco Lodge..]

the beginnings of the fruit muffins

Our teacher was Shahida - a funny man. nothing like the 'famous' chefs we hear about.. he was friendly and simple.

once you add the wet to the dry ingredients together, you must work fast - to get them into the oven. mix from outside to middle - with a stainless steel spoon rather than a wooden spoon [which tends to mash the ingredients instead of mixing them] *note to self: buy stainless steel mixing bowl, whisk and large spoon

he suggested using a large stainless steel bowl & to whisk the wet ingredients, quickly with a large whisk. by hand.

a lovely dropping consistency

fill the pans near to the top

while waiting for the muffins to cook - Shahida showed us a few tools of his trade.

while those fruit muffins were in the oven, he took us to his kitchen garden to gather chives for the savoury ones.. I was in my element.

are they ready?

the savoury muffins - bacon, cheese and chives.. oh and Parmesan on top. don't forget that! ~ these go well with pumpkin soup ~ the ideas flew quickly ~ macadamia and honey muffins ~ spinach and walnut.. endless combinations. be creative. experiment.

the joy about muffins is they are pretty much fool proof.

a fun afternoon where i learned that coriander seed goes well with tropical fruits, that dates and orange peel are a nice combination in muffins, to put a tray of water in the bottom of the oven to keep moisture in the muffins during cooking time. that creating food from scratch is part of the slow food movement. ...

has been good
for me

the past week, I have been in the doldrums - visited by melancholy again... quiet time for me...many life changes which I am grappling with. finding my footing once again. panicking trying to plan my life then realizing that I can only live in the present moment. not the past, nor the future. but here as I am. once I knew who I was. a mother.. now my children fly the coop and I am in life change again... so here we are.


Cottage Tails said...

Oh what a treat to attend! I am emerald green! Must put this on my list to do - we have a fab chef who runs a cooking school near by - you know what I am gonna do this soon!

Love Leanne

mxtodis123 said...

Oh my goodness, do those muffins ever look good. I have baked in a long time, but we always had homemade muffins. My job is just so draining that I gave it up, but I sure would like to try those savory muffins.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I love savoury muffins! They're wonderful with eggs for breakfast.

Happy journeys in finding yourself again. I'm sure you'll be surprised and delighted by the person and possibilities that you find!

gemma said...

The cooking class looks fun! Once in a while I take a cooking class but Lee still tells me to experiment at lunch. 8-)
Creating is healing so I hope you feel better.
Sending you joy for each new moment...everything will be OK.
love xx

Anonymous said...

That is so true..mix them quickly and don't over blend, and muffins will be tender and light.
Looks like a fun class Robyn, I hope it lifts your spirits!

Serena said...

Great tips....those muffins look delicious!

Sometimes, I feel lost in motherhood. I still have four kids living at home and the majority of my life revolves around my kids and new granddaughter. It's a wonderful and precious thing to me yet, sometimes, I yearn for 'me' time. I also try to live in the moment and enjoy it to the fullest, whatever it may be.

Serena xo

Winterwood said...

still way too hot to even think about baking here... cant wait till it cools down again to do some real cooking and baking after such a long break! I am sick of cold food and salads!!

Fire Byrd said...

You are you. You've always been you, you've had different roles to play; daughter,student, wife, mum, wife again, but thesse are roles you've been given because of what has being going on in your life. But throughout it all you have been YOU. So go YOU!
Love you Robyn

Janet said...

Yum! What a delicious way to spend your day!! Muffins are wonderful and some of those combinations sound fantastic. I've never tried savory muffins but the spinach and walnuts would be ones I'd like to try.

Changes in life are always a challenge and we women have more than our share of them. You're still a mother but it's just in a new and different way. I find that now my daughter and I are more friends than ever before. I hope you find some peace with all your changes.

Imogen said...

As so often your calm honesty about moments of doubt is inspiring in itself...

Spinach and walnut muffins sound good, too.

Anonymous said...

Hi robyn,
that sounds like so much fun. It all looks so very delicious. I wish I could have been there ;)

amelia said...

All of life seems to be a change. I realise this and now know that nothing remains the same as much as I sometimes wish things would. I have made peace with the changes in my life at least except for one who shall remain nameless but you know who it is.

I hope one day, you will make peace with your changes.

Muffins look delicious but I've never had success making them. Maybe with these tips I should try again..

foxysue said...

Hi Robin,

Hope the muffins did the trick and the melancholy has lifted, I know the feeling.

I just watched your little video, your boys look so sweet.

This reminded my of my two dogs Dougal & Japser. Dougal learnt at an early age to bark when he wants to go out, Jasper however, hasn't cottoned on to that concept yet and just stands waiting until someone opens the door or until his daddy Dougal barks for him!

rebecca said...

i woke up and my first thought was

holding you through the day, and all the changes.
this post brought me a reassuring smile!

james said...


Thanks for the helpful hints for baking those delicious looking muffins.

Empty-nest syndrome. It's a challenge when we leave one phase of life and enter a new one. It feels like we are starting over again, doesn't it? Be assured that you have the support of many friends who visit here. Peace.

judie said...

Yes, muffins. Comfort food. Perhaps you needed that. Don't go backwards, Robyn. You have come such a long way. Keep plunging forward into happiness. xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures and the muffins sound incredible. I didn't know that about using wooden spoons - I always use a wooden spoon! Ooops. Much love.

"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)