Last year, I hosted my very first Thanksgiving dinner. It was a night of first – my first turkey and first pumpkin pie. The food however, wasn’t the star of the show. The six of us were seated around the table, plates of food ready to be devoured. One friend read us all a little thankful poem, our non-religious form of grace. When she finished, we all picked up our cutlery about to dig in when Sarah speaks.
‘I have something to say too,’ she says. We all turn to her with baited breath.
‘I am thankful for the little baby growing in my tummy.’ There were screams of joy and hugs and congratulations and then her husband adds ‘and I’m thankful for the other baby.’ It took us a few moments to catch on and then we were uncontrollable. The twins (TWINS!) will be the first babies in our group and have a lot of very excited ‘aunties.’
For as long as I can remember, Sarah has come up to stay with my family and me at Sunshine Beach between Christmas and New Year. It started off just the two of us and my family, then the boys came along. This year it was us, Sarah’s husband and an ever-growing baby bump who visited us and next year they will be bringing two babies!
Seeing as Sarah is eating for three I baked up a batch of Bill Granger’s berry yoghurt muffins to greet her on arrival. They were delicious as is but taken to another level of deliciousness after being cut in half, put under the grill for a few minutes and spread with butter.
I love making muffins because they’re so simple. Nearly all of them follow the basic mix dry ingredients, mix wet ingredients and combine and these ones are no different. Start by sifting all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. I didn’t have any wholemeal flour so used a combination of white flour and oats.
In another bowl, use a fork to mix all the wet ingredients together. Make sure the egg is beaten and the mixture is uniform. I don’t think egg lumps in the muffins would be too nice.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients over the top. Gently stir it all together using a wooden spoon but don’t over mix it or you’ll end up with rubbery muffins and no one likes a rubbery muffin!
Now it’s time to add the star of the show – the berries. I used a mixture of frozen berries (mostly defrosted) and crushed them up then folded them through the batter.
I find that when a muffin recipe says ‘makes 12’ they really mean ‘make 12 ginormous muffins that no one could possibly eat in one sitting!’ I managed to get 19 pretty decent sized muffins from the recipe. Just make sure there’s an equal amount in each case. Bake them at 180C fan-forced for about 20 minutes or until they are golden on top.
Leave the muffins to cool on a wire rack.
Serve them as soon as they’re not mouth-burning hot. A little bit of butter finished them off rather nicely. Just be sure to have a few people around when you make these. They don’t keep very well and are best eaten within a couple of days. To refresh them a bit, put them back in the oven for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!
- 185g (6.5oz) self-raising flour
- 150g (5oz) whole-meal self-raising flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 155g (5.5oz) brown sugar
- 250ml (1 cup) buttermilk
- 125ml (1/2 cup) low-fat plain yoghurt
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 440g (16oz) chopped mixed berries
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C (356F) fan-forced and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake wrappers.
- Sift the flours and cinnamon together in a large bowl and then stir though the brown sugar. Make a well in the middle.
- In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, yoghurt, eggs and oil.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.
- Gently fold through the berries.
- Divide the batter between the muffin cases.
- Bake the muffins for 20 minutes or until golden on top.
- Let them cool on a wire rack.