Pumpkin Chia Mini Muffins

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Pumpkin Chia Mini Muffins 2020

Following on from our large home-grown pumpkin and Grandma’s Pumpkin Scone Recipe, every cookery book containing a pumpkin formulation now comes under scrutiny.  Our most recent addition is Pumpkin Chia Mini Muffins.

Here’s the recipe if you feel like something tasty for lunch – with or without an accompaniment – and you can make them any size you wish!

Pumpkin Chia Mini Muffins

I N G R E D I E N T S 

80g ( ⅓ cup) Butter

1 Spring Onion, thinly sliced

2 Garlic Cloves, crushed

250g (1 cup) Pumpkin, peeled, seeded, coarsely grated

375g (2 ½ cups) Self-Raising Flour

½ tsp Salt

120g (1 cup) Cheddar Cheese, coarsely grated

2 tbs Chia Seeds

1 Egg, lightly whisked

310ml (1 ¼ cups) Buttermilk

Chia Seeds, to sprinkle

Butter/Condiment, to serve

M E T H O D 

Preheat oven to 190°C  (374° F)

Grease a 12-hole (80ml) Muffin Pan (or 2 x 12-hole Mini Muffin Pans)

Heat 1 tbs of butter in a medium flying pan over medium heat.

Add spring onion and garlic and cook, stirring 3 mins until spring onion softens.

Add pumpkin and cook, stirring 5 mins or until pumpkin softens.

Set aside to cool.

Melt remaining butter into a saucepan over medium heat.

Combine flour and salt in a bowl.

Stir in cheddar cheese and chia seeds.

Whisk egg, buttermilk and melted butter in a bowl.

Season with salt.

Pour the egg mixture over the flour mixture.

Add pumpkin mixture.

Use a large spoon to stir until just combined.

Spoon mixture into prepared pans.

Sprinkle with extra chia seeds on top.

Bake approx 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven.

Insert skewer to check, should come out clean.

Cool muffins in pan for 5 mins before turning onto wire rack.

N O T A T I O N S

Eat Pumpkin Chia Mini Muffins with soup, plain or with savoury topping.

Can be baked in muffin pans or paper patty pans for children.

Next time I would add corn or diced capsicum or chopped green herbs.

Using buttermilk seemed to make a difference.

Chia seeds taste is not very noticeable, but apparently is very good for you.

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Draw-a-Soup Bowl
Pumpkin Soup

Winter Pumpkin Scone Recipe

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Home-grown Kent Jap Pumpkin ready for cooking – June 2020

Pumpkin scones are a traditional morning tea favourite in Queensland.  Unsophisticated yet delicious, these golden scones were much-loved by the late Lady Flo Bjelke-Petersen, politician and wife of former Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, and she often baked them for public occasions.

Seen as tea-time treats, they are available by the half dozen in bakeries and displayed in the cookery section of annual shows and exhibitions.  For home cooking, pumpkin scones have stood the test of time due to their quick preparation and adaptability.  They can be eaten sweet with strawberry jam and whipped cream, or savoury with cheddar cheese and chutney.

For full flavour, pumpkin scones are best eaten warm from the oven, but they store well and a quick turn in the microwave gives them a boost on a chilly morning.

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Packed and ready for visiting family – June 2020

Grandma’s Pumpkin Scones

3 cups self raising flour

pinch salt

½ cup sugar

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup mashed pumpkin – cooled

1 egg

milk

Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg, add mashed pumpkin.  Sift in flour alternately with enough milk to make soft, light dough.  Pat out or roll on floured board to desired thickness.  Cut with round cutter.  Place on tray and brush with milk or lightly dust with flour.  Bake in a hot oven.  Serve warm; plain or with topping.

Above recipe is adapted from Jenny Purvis, “Kilmarnock” Clermont, Queensland.
Courtesy of “Country Hospitality: A Comprehensive Cookery Book” compiled by the Clermont Branch of Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association 1984 edition.

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Plain, buttered, chutney or jam topping?

A prayer follows the foreword by former Executive Officer, Queensland Council ICPA, Mr E C Powne MBE, and reprinted below:

My Kitchen Prayer

Bless my little kitchen, Lord,
I love its every nook,
And bless me as I do my work,
Wash pots and pans and cook.

May the meals that I prepare,
Be seasoned from above,
With thy blessing and thy grace,
But most of – thy Love.

As we partake of earthly food,
T
hy table Thou has spread,
We’ll not forget to thank thee, Lord,
For all our daily bread.

So bless my little kitchen, Lord,
And those who enter in,
May they find nought but joy and peace,
And happiness therein.          Amen.

 

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Nature’s winter bounty brightens our day – June 2020

Gretchen Bernet-Ward


ADDENDUMKent pumpkin (also known as Jap pumpkin) has ribbed, grey-green mottled skin and golden yellow flesh.  This pumpkin is of the sweeter variety, perfect for pumpkin scones, salads and baked dishes.  Great mashed, roasted or steamed and mixed with a variety of sweet or savoury foods.  Pumpkin is an excellent source of beta carotene and contains dietary fibre, potassium, and vitamins C and E for good health.

Baking Bread and Growing Mandarins

Two loaves of home-baked bread with garlic on top and grated cheese inside, eaten with chicken and corn soup.  Entrée nibbles were baby beetroot leaves, sliced sausage and home-grown mandarin (tangerine) pieces.  The mandarin tree is about 45 years old but still produces a juicy citrus crop each winter.

One of my earlier posts https://thoughtsbecomewords.com/2017/07/15/garden-notes-on-a-warm-winter-day/

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Love Food Hate Waste Campaign

Brisbane Queensland Australia 05
Brisbane Queensland Australia

Maybe it’s because I was brought up by post-war parents that I am shocked at the staggering amount of food waste in Brisbane.  I could not understand why our local Government has joined the world-wide campaign Love Food Hate Waste.  Surely you only buy, cook and eat what you need and freeze leftovers?

Apparently for millions of households, it’s not that simple!

The Council brochure states “Love Food Hate Waste was launched in 2007 by Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP) in the United Kingdom followed by New Zealand, Canada and Australia.  With food waste making up 37% of the average Brisbane rubbish bin, 1 in 5 shopping bags of food ends up in the bin.  That’s 97,000 tonnes of food thrown away every year.   There are simple and practical changes which residents can make in the kitchen to reduce food waste; planning, preparation and storage of food will make a big difference to your wallet and keep Brisbane clean, green and sustainable.”

Scramble over the mat, don’t trip on the dog, here’s a tasty listicle of Council wisdom prepared earlier:

  • Plan meals ahead – create a meal plan based on what is already in your fridge, freezer and pantry.
  • Shop mindfully – stick to your shopping list!
  • Store food correctly – Learn how to store food to ensure it lasts as long as possible and check your refrigerator is functioning at maximum efficiency.
  • Cook with care – Without controlling portions, we tend to waste food when we prepare or cook too much.  Remember fruit and vegetables ripen quickly and are best consumed daily.
  • Love your leftovers – Freeze leftovers to use for lunches, keep for snacks, or add to another main meal.
  • Consider composting – Turn your kitchen scraps into rich nutrients for your garden, get a Bokashi bucket, consider owning pets like chickens or guinea pigs.
  • Join a community garden – Composting hubs operate in selected community gardens.
  • Six-week food waste challenge – Every week the Council will provide step-by-step information on how you can reduce food waste in your home.  Seriously.

Bokashi Bucket Diagram 01

We are over-stocked, over-fed and over-indulgent of our taste buds.  Or as my dear mother would say “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.”

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Love Food Hate Waste BCC Campaign

Apple Queen

CARTOON GIRL EATING AN APPLE
Crunch Munch

My childhood nickname was “Apple Queen”.  In later years, I have wondered why I wasn’t called “Apple Princess” but I think it may have had something to do with the name of a variety of apple at that time.  One of my mother’s favourite early black and white photographs of me, taken in my grandparents’ long driveway at Hampton, Victoria, illustrates my love of apples.  I have a Granny Smith apple in each hand, possibly from a homegrown tree.  I was about four years old and, by the look on my face, quite serious about the art of eating apples.

I still am.  One sits next to me as I type.  If I need a snack, a lunch box filler or fruit for a picnic, I grab an apple.  Drool has formed in the corners of my mouth when I’ve looked at apples with sultanas and honey.  Strudel, pies, pureed or skewered on a kebab, the texture and essence of apples is never lost. That crisp, sweet smell pervades my senses, particularly when I walk into a room and get a whiff of that fruity fragrance.  Immediately I want to chomp my teeth into the cool, smooth skin, break through that thin protective layer to taste its juicy flesh.  That first crunch is like no other sound.  The sound reverberates through my jaw as I munch the apple into cider and swallow.

Granny Smith Apple
Apple Green

In my haste to eat an apple, I have been known to choke on a piece but it has never put me off.  My mother could devour a whole apple, pips and all, but that’s not my style.  I denude the apple to the core then toss the remains into the garden for some foraging creature to finish off.

I have a vivid memory of apple blossom and then tiny green and red striped apples forming on a tree we had in our backyard at Mount Waverley, Victoria.  Picking them too soon, I recall my disappointment at their unripe, bitter flavour.  Just recently I have read that apples are helpful to asthma sufferers and, since I am a life-long asthmatic, I wondered if instinct might have played a part in my voracious consumption.  It certainly had nothing to do with Adam or Eve.

Occasionally, I am asked about my favourite variety and I answer “Any.  As long as it’s not bruised.”  Apples creep into my salads, my sauces and, thanks to a friend, into my hamburger mince.  To me, a dessert isn’t a proper dessert unless it contains apples.  Imagine a world without apple pie and ice-cream!  My father liked cloves cooked into apple pies and that’s the only time I didn’t like my mother’s cooking.  To this day I don’t know why the odd flavouring of clove is meant to enhance cooked apples.

Pink Lady Apples
Pink Lady

The very shape of an apple is pleasing to me, even the logo on my laptop.  During my teenage years, I collected ornaments in the shape of apples.  Two examples may have survived.  A red china apple made in two halves, the bottom half containing candle wax.  The other apple made of hand-blown glass, with a glass leaf, which contains layers of coloured sands from Cooloola Beach on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

Baby daughters are now being named Apple; it’s something I didn’t think of at the time and I’m hoping it’s after the apple blossom fruit rather than the corporation.  My fruit bowl is really an apple bowl with other fruit scattered around for effect.  Sometimes toffee apples will creep into the mix and I treat them with caution.  Hard red toffee and my teeth don’t work well together but I never let that stop me.

Happy torta di mele!

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Apple Pie
Home Bake

Apple 06