Red Currant and Almond Muffins

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I forgot we had red currant bushes. In years past, what little crop was produced was eaten by the birds.  Not sure what happened this year but we have more red currants than we can handle!  Red currants have topped salads and cereals and they’ve been made into jelly and cordial.  The best way to eat them is by the handful straight from the bush but these muffins are a close second for me.

Red Currant and Almond Muffins

150g plain flour
100g ground almonds
3 tspn baking powder
Pinch salt
50g caster sugar
1 egg
225ml milk (plus extra if required)
60g butter melted
1 cup red currants
1 tblspn almond extract

  • Preheat oven to 190oC and butter a muffin tin.
  • Sift together the dry ingredients into a large bowl then stir in the red currants until evenly distributed.
  • Briefly whisk together the wet ingredients and add to the bowl. Use a large metal spoon to fold ingredients together. Do this briskly and do not over mix. Add a little extra milk if required.
  • Spoon batter into tins (approx ⅔ full). Bake for 25 mins until risen and golden on top.

The Veggie Plots

There were a few months there where I wasn’t at home very often.  It’s our first year in our new home and my intention had been to build some raised beds to start growing my veggies once again. Assumed it was going to have to wait for another year until my lovely partner, D, took it upon himself to do all the hard work for me.

So now I have two raised beds…

Things are beginning to happen in these beds…

And inside, every available sunny surface has been claimed by seedlings that have yet to be moved out side…

And those that will never see the great (but rather chilly) Scottish outdoors…

It’s all rather exciting. 🙂

In The Beginning…

Bed 1

  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Courgette
  • Squash
  • Corn

Bed 2

  • More raspberrries
  • Broadbeans
  • Peas

Bed 3

  • Blueberries
  • Gooseberries
  • Flat-leafed parsley
  • Chervil
  • Rocket
  • Sorrel
  • Spinach
  • Rainbow chard

Elsewhere – Apples, plums, quince, thyme, sage (green and purple) , chives, rosemary, mint, curly parsley, oregano and marjoram.

Plans – Erect a little greenhouse and grow tomatoes.

Garden Plans and Chunky Tomato Salsa

 

I’m highly excited about the forthcoming weekend.  For the last few months there has been a possibility floating around that I would be moving to a different house this summer and so I held off from planting my vegetables: it would have been terrible to sow them and then abandon the seedlings.  Yesterday I found out for certain that I’m staying put.  Thought I’d be rather upset if this were to be the outcome as the house I was hoping to move to is in a spectacular location but, after so much waiting and uncertainty, my  overwhelming feeling is one of relief and contentment.  I do, after all, love my current wee house.  It’s wonderfully cosy and I’m more than a little proud of my vegetable patch. 

So, this weekend I’m going to get all grubby and get planting.  Hooray!  Having been weeded and fertilized and repeatedly forked, the soil is more than ready to host some seeds and young plants.  I may even erect a proper greenhouse this year.  Last year, the wee plastic contraption I bought was so flimsy it flew away in the gales, leaving behing lettuce, basil and tomato carnage. 

Lots of tomatoes would be lovely this year.   Not least so that I can make this salsa with fresh, sun-warmed tomatoes.  🙂

Chunky Tomato Salsa

(serves 4)

300g cherry tomatoes, halved and seeded

1 red onion, chopped finely

1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 green chilli, finely chopped

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Handful of coriander or parsley, chopped

Seasoning

  • Simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl, cover and leave to marinate for an hour (or overnight in the fridge).