Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hot Cross Muffins

A moment of thought fusion occurred in my celebrity kitchen on Saturday: why not combine two of my favourite foods, English muffins and hot cross buns?

Hot cross muffins: standard English muffin recipe,
plus cherries, sultanas and spices.
Secular version.
These are extremely nice, and they bake in about 12 minutes on the stove hotplate. If you have a top tip on kneading glacé cherries into bread dough without breaking them up, please make haste to the comment box to set me straight.  Is my brand of cherries too puny?

I haven't posted in a while, as I've felt awfully cut up over the state of my sourdough starter. It's a living thing, I'm told, a colony of well-intentioned lactobacilli, so I don't like to abandon it to the storm despite its iffy appearance, but, anyhow, soldiering on, the verbena is casting splendid autumnal shadows,


and posies of flowers still come in from the garden although it's nearly November.


People keep getting in touch saying they want to rush me a truckload of pistachio cookies or ergonomic secateurs for me to review on my blog, no strings attached. Does this mean I have risen from C-list to B-list, or do they fail to realise that I only have seven readers, not all of whom are partial to pistachios?

45 comments:

  1. I seem to be no. 1 of 7, dear Mise. How unusual. What a fine skeleton and witch! I will consult with my ever-loyal companion about the cherries. Perhaps you knead them with too much gusto (cf. macaroons).

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    1. I don't see why Lucille should be the guest of honour in preference to myself, dear Ada.

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    2. Of course *you*, dear Mise, will be the Real Guest of Honour. Lucille has selflessly offered to be the piñata.

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  2. Oh, no pistachios for this reader in the middle of Pennsylvania!

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    1. Hello, dear Anonymous. How lovely to receive a cheerful comment from a stranger.

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  3. What luck! I'm a pistachio lover and a gardener with a bad shoulder.Send all to me and I'll review with pleasure:-)

    reader #3

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    1. It's all bound to cross in the post with that trial batch of truffles you are making for me, Jane.

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  4. No pistachios for me, but your pictures and good humor are a great way to start or end the day.

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    1. Likewise your own kind comments, Jen.

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  5. Your flowers are stunning. It's hard to believe those came out of a normal person's garden. I've had people offer me things for review on my blog but I have to sign on to their website and choose a style of glasses, or a size of dress, then post and send them a link, and do other complicated things that make it not worth it to me. I don't want to work for other people on my blog. So I've so far not gotten anything free. When someone makes it easier for me instead of having to exert any effort, then maybe I'll take a prize.

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    1. Absolutely, Karen. For God's sake why can't they just send the stuff along, ensuring adequate postage.

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  6. Blue and Pink daughters are growing so tall. Could it be the hot-cross/english muffin diet?. Your aga stove and fresh flowers always add cheer.

    Helenxx

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    1. Thank you, dear Helen. I hope we will see you again before their next growth spurt.

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  7. Seventh reader checking in a bit late as bloglovin' is a very tardy alert system.Re cherries - I'd prod them into the risen dough at the end. A bit like my bulb planting technique. I will be at the door with a welcoming smile and a box of Quality Street if Pink and Blue Daughters come calling. No one ever offers me anything to review (not even Quality Street) and I never get spam. What am I doing wrong?

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    1. The daughters are off to count their savings for the plane ticket, Lucille, but, before they commit, they have asked me to ascertain whether it's a whole box of Quality Street just for them or merely the opportunity to choose a few sweets. Also, if the former, the large round box or the small rectangular box?

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    2. Please tell them that I have picked out all the pink and blue foil wrapped sweets and put them into pink and blue striped paper bags.

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    3. They are both on the bus to the airport as I type.

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    4. I'm sure Lucille will be meeting them in her Ferrari.

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  8. Sorry to hear about your sourdough non-starter. Two-Tone and Purple daughters are looking suitably scary. Once again, you have opened the controversy between us and the US, in how to name a simple muffin. We call their muffins 'American' and they call them 'English' - vice versa in some cases, I think. I thought I had it cracked, but I'm confused again now.

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    1. You'll need to reread 'What Katy Did Next', Tom. As I recall, the whole muffin situation is elegantly clarified there.

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    2. That would be a little worse than reading Jane bloody Austen, as far as I am concerned.

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  9. Cooking, children, flowers ..... where are the cushions ?!! XXXX

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    1. Out of shot, dear Jacqueline. Mea culpa.

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  10. I could actually do with a new pair of secateurs and am very partial to pistachios. Yikes, if offers are a measure of celebrity, I fear I'm right down there in the pit of obscurity. I've had jewellery of a dubious origin, fair-trade rugs and, just yesterday, I had an email from somebody offering to proof read my blog posts for me. Rude!

    Don't your daughters look great? By far, the prettiest witch I've seen.

    Hx

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    1. That's hugely insulting, Heather. Your posts are perfect. I hope you wrote back, patiently pointing out their own dodgy use of commas.

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  11. Hot Cross Muffins!? Now you're talking my language! ;) Good luck in the heady heights of 'list B' by the way.

    S x

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    1. One fine day I'll skate into the A-List to join yourself, Sandra.

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  12. Oh yes - all my favourite topics in one post, muffins, secateurs and nuts - oh and witches and skeletons as well. Perfect.

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    1. Ah, I'm glad. I had a notion to discuss repair options for the electronic mechanism that powers my front right car window as well, but sternly said to myself, "Elaine won't be interested in that."

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  13. The counter says I am the 11th comment...unless hmmm perhaps some of them are spam-bots. Would you like to enlarge you XXXX??? Cheap Nike shoes!

    Okay I'd probably get banned from your site for that. jokes aside. I marvel at your daughters' clever costumes and flowers in November still in full bloom! What a feat!

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    1. I'm glad to see such happy good humour amid the broken computer disaster! How nice of you to call by.

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  14. What a pleasure to get caught up on your posts...I am giggling at your wit! The Halloween folks and late season flowers look terrific, and the recipes tempting. I would never have thought of potato pizza! xo

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    1. Thank you, Frances. I always feel that my posts are given a much-needed measure of dignity by your presence among the commentators.

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  15. Hope that silly storm treated you well Mise! Love the costumes...I'm actually off to teach a Halloween class right now and hope to see a few witches and skellies in class...we're 'making' Halloween cupcakes!
    xo J~

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    1. Have fun, Jessica, and I look forward to seeing the results of your efforts!

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  16. Secular version? Blasphemous version, sez I! They still look nice and edible though...

    And only seven readers? You fibber!!!!

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    1. I will ice crosses onto my next batch to placate the masses.

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  17. Mise the daughters are coming out in style quite fashionably!

    I am now wondering whatever happened to my sourdough starter from about 25 years ago...lost in a move possibly! I think the Hot Cross Buns sound better at this point! Oh and I love pistachios!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Review: "Fifth Avenue Style"

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    1. Thank you, Karena! I shall direct all future pistachio donations your way, unless they are chocolate-covered.

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  18. Personally I'm not so sure about the good intentions of lactobacilli, the sourdough starter started here attempted to take over the kitchen.

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    1. And how did the bread turn out, Annie?

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  19. I don't want to be argumentative, or a stuffy religionist, but I just don't see how they are hot cross buns at all. I also don't know why you would turn down a truckload of cookies for any reason. Still, I like all the things you're showing here: your agnostic muffins, your lovely girls, and your late blooms.

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    1. A mere flight of fancy, Barbara. I'll call them spicy sweet muffins instead. Thank you for your kind words.

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  20. Mmmm... Those spicy muffins look delicious. I am hugely impressed by anyone having the skill and motivation to make their own muffins.

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  21. What was this post about again? All attention was immediately lost once my wandering left eye caught a glimpse of your marigold Aga. I do remember cookies however which I hope came out of said marigold Aga. You really do have a celebrity kitchen Mise! :)

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