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Crafternoon tea

January 30, 2011

One of the most special friends I have made since retiring to the Clarence Valley is the lovely Lola. Passing acquaintances during the latter days of our school years, we met once again by chance, and have since realised that there are many things we share in common such as a quirky sense of style and humour, an interest in art, design and photography, and a necessity to create in order to survive, and thrive. Her talents are dazzling in their breadth, from photography to dyeing and spinning yarn.

This weekend she invited me to her house for a crafternoon to make Valentines with her daughter Little L and son JD. Since I was unable to bring many useful skills, I decided to bring delicious cakes instead!

I had a couple of punnets of blueberries from my friend Paul the Barefoot Farmer, which I thought would be just the thing. The nearby town of Corindi is known for its excellent blueberries, and you may have seen them in greengrocers this summer. Paul’s property is located on the Orara River, and his berries are the finest I have ever encountered. Picked much smaller than the mealy, bloated fruit you usually find in the supermaket, his blueberries are an old variety which are piquant and juicy.

I found a recipe in a new addition to our library, The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, a gift to my mother from Brother Explody. An ‘American-style’ bakery in London, the Hummingbird Bakery lies towards the the frou-frou end of the cake spectrum. There’s a glowing endorsement from Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover and, indeed, some of the cakes within its pages are reminiscent of her 1999 Oscars dress. Nevertheless, the recipes don’t only have style, but substance too. With tea, cakes and Lola’s incredible crafty resources, a wonderful crafternoon was had by all, even if some of us (ok, me) weren’t exceptionally productive. Multiple packets of googly eyes proved to be somewhat of a distraction.

As endorsed by Gwyneth Paltrow

You call that a blueberry?

Blueberry Muffins, recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

360g plain flour
370g caster sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
375ml buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
70g unsalted butter, melted
250g blueberries

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on slow speed. Put the buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract into a jug and mix to combine. Slowly pour into the flour mixture and beat until all the ingredients are incorporated.

Pour in melted butter and beat until the butter has just been incorporated, then increase to medium speed and beat until the dough is even and smooth. Finally, gently fold in the blueberries with a wooden spoon until evenly dispersed.

Spoon the mixture into paper cases (I used rigid cases, but you could used a greased muffin tin, or muffin tin lined with paper cases). Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Let them eat cake!

Crafternoon tea

JD's first bite

Lola loves

Felix's Boardwalk Empire-inspired piece, with Little L's Many-eyed Monster in the background...

5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2011 22:11

    great post. love a good crafternoon, all the better for blueberry goodness.
    PS I saw Banana and Malt muffins at my Summer Hill eatery today – immediately though of you……….

  2. Hawcroft permalink
    January 31, 2011 09:03

    how lovely- Can I have your life please..?

  3. January 31, 2011 11:10

    What a wonderful way to while away the afternoon…

  4. March 6, 2011 20:20

    I love craft, so does my daughter (she’s 3) so this would be one perfect afternoon, your muffins look scrumptious. I thought blueberries were particularly good this season.

  5. April 16, 2011 23:00

    Wouldn’t it be great to feel comfortable putting your face into a blueberry muffin like that again? That’s really enjoying it. You must have had a fantastic afternoon.

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