Well, have I got news for you! And where on earth to start? I’ll do this quickly…
So, work was just not good and I was exhausted so I took 2 weeks holiday to ‘recuperate’. Day one I got a mini table top dishwasher from ebay, it was a disaster, myself and kitchen flooded twice, once with the waste pipe water, dishwasher wouldn’t drain properly, turned out Mat hadn’t removed stopper from waste pipe connection so that solved that one.
By day three I had adopted five degus from a foster home in Twickenham, I went to visit them then we took them home a couple days later, they are all settled in fine and are the most fascinating animals. The bunnies even seem impressed!
By the Saturday Mat and I were lucky enough to be at one of the BBC Proms concerts where we saw a fascinating array of world music based on the TV series the Human Planet and was even lucky enough to hear a Tchaikovsky number played by a recycled orchestra – some of the instruments included an old metal fold up bed symbol, a lorry wheel drum, a coat hanger violin string, toilet plumbing trumpets and trombones and the list continues. It was like nothing I have ever seen or experienced before or ever will again, absolutely breathtaking. That was also the same Saturday that Amy Winehouse died, we heard the news from my sister as we parked for the concert, I had to take ten minutes to process it. A very sad loss of a life, as is any young death.
Anyway, that brought us to Sunday where my oven decided to pack up right in the middle of cooking a roast dinner for Mat and I. So Monday was finding a cheap oven as pay day was still what seemed like years away. I did find a very reasonable one and also purchased a ‘whatever happens’ cover on it! The first two uses were not great but not quite disastrous, it just took forever to heat up and I had cakes overcooked on the outside but raw in the middle. But I think I have the trick now and cakes since have been as perfect as my last oven (which I dearly miss), I heat it to maximum temperature and then turn it down as I start mixing the batter etc.
Anyway….then by Wednesday, still in my second week of holiday, I quit my job. My job that is more than just a job and where I work with a team which were like a family, really. I wont go in to details now but lets just say its a release and sad but necessary. I’m continuing to work for the ’cause’ of street children and am lucky to have had something else totally related to what I have just walked out of and totally what my heart and soul is in, to walk straight in to. That is a major piece of original research for which I am assisting in preparations at this stage. And f course I start university in less than 2 months so that chapter is looming!
By the Thursday I had bought home 2 baby girl bunnies that I saw in the pet shop, fell in love with and couldn’t bare to leave behind at the ‘zoo’. I buy animals from pet shops only to free them, I have to battle with myself not to buy the lot but then I’d have to give them my flat and go and live in the pet shop as I have no room and then I couldn’t look after them! But seriously, can you imagine if you went and picked children and babies in that way? Well, in some places that is the case sadly…Anyway, on a happier note they are lovely, called Bambi (but I keep calling her Bam Bam) and Butterfly. Since Bae and Billy had a brotherly fall out and refuse to forgive each other for dominating the hay I thought they could have a girly to be their friend forever! Lets just hope its all smooth introductions now! The babies are still in with me and separated for ow though until they grow up a little bit and get less timid and also until Billy is neutered and healed which he is going in for on Thursday.
Here’s some piccies of Bae bunny looking cute!
Friday I drove down to Sussex to visit a very dear old lady who is very much like my nan, the journey was long as there was lots of traffic but it was a very lovely day and lovely to see Kathleen.
Saturday Mat and I set off on our bikes to find some wild fruit, we found apples, damsons and blackberries which I turned in to jams which I will post as soon as possible. What wasn’t so great is that I found a sick baby wild bunny who we tried our best to save but he very sadly didn’t make it.
And now here I am, 5.30 am writing this blog post after an extremely sleepless night! I think I need a good old baking sesh!
Blueberry muffins, just a classic, and lord, there is thousands of recipes out there, and I’ve tried a few, but these my friends are THE blueberry muffins. These are what I want out of my oven. They are just perfect, soft but not too cakey, perfectly sweet and fruity, well risen and with the perfect muffin tops. You have to try them!
- 2 1/2 cups plain/all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- heaped 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 egg replacements
- 1 cup vegan yoghurt
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 8 Tbsp warm melted vegan margarine (1 stick)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tsp soya milk
- 6 oz fresh or frozen blueberries
1 Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 200°c/400°F. Grease a standard 12 muffin tin plus a 6 hole tin (or use the same tin if you don’t have an extra one and make the muffins in batches) or line with paper muffin cases.
2 Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
3 In a separate bowl, whisk together egg replacer, yoghurt, milk, sugar, margarine and vanilla.
4 Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix together with a few light strokes, just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Add the berries and gently fold through. Do not overmix! Overmixing will cause the muffins to be dense, not fluffy. The batter should not be smooth.
5 Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of 1 or 2 of the muffins comes out clean, 17-20 minutes (or longer). Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before removing from the pan. If not serving hot, let cool on a rack.
Serve as soon as possible, preferably within a few hours of baking but freeze really well.
Makes about 18 muffins.
Adapted from Simply Recipes’ Blackberry Muffins