A friend of ours has a walnut tree so he brought over a big bag full for us. Yesterday I showed Ruby how to crack them with a hammer. I have funny memories as a child cracking macadamia nuts from my grandfathers tree that way. The walnuts don't run away from you as much as the macadamia nuts did and their shells are a lot softer.
After we had a cup full of cracked walnuts we made coffee and walnut muffins. This was a baking experiment and it turned out alright so here is my recipe.
Coffee and Walnut Muffins
1/2 cup of butter at room temperature
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 free range eggs (please don't ever buy caged eggs they are yucky and very sad)
1 cup of light sour cream
1/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup of espresso coffee
2 cups of wholemeal flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 1/2 cups of roughly cut walnuts
Beat the butter and sugar together until it is soft and creamy, then add the eggs, sour cream and milk and coffee. The mixture might be a bit lumpy because the milk and coffee wont blend well with the butter but that is OK.
In another large bowl sift the flour and baking powder. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon until only just combined. The mixture will be quite lumpy but don't mix it anymore (or they won't come out fluffy).
Then add the walnuts and carefully mix them through. Over mixing and over baking is what will make them dry and you will loose that lovely fluffiness.
Put the mixture in a greased or non stick muffin pan. You should get a dozen medium sized muffins but you can also make the larger ones or the mini muffins if you prefer. Into a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C.
I don't time my muffins. I keep checking them with a skewer every few minutes when they start to brown on top. The best time to pull them out is when the skewer is mostly clean when you pull it out but there is still a bit of moisture inside the muffins. Usually this takes 10 - 15 minutes.
When you take them out leave them in the tin for at least ten minutes. If you take them out right away they will fall apart. Then you can put them on a rack to cool or eat them right away.
These muffins are not very sweet and so are perfect as a breakfast muffin served warm with butter.
When I was away in Hobart last weekend I bought some pretty mohair yarn from a fancy knitting shop. On Monday I crocheted it together with a wool and alpaca yarn into a bag.
I chose the colour because it reminded me of early Autumn but this bag is looking more like Spring now.
Some mohair is itchy but this is very soft. I thought of crocheting a scarf out of it, but I really need a new handbag so that is what I am making.
Yesterday I felted it. It didn't felt as well as I expected but it is alright.
It is a little wrinkled but I'll get that fixed up after I have sewn in the lining and the shoulder strap which I am probably going to do today.