Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pear Ginger Muffins and Some Farewell Gifts

I have at last moved more or less into my new home, and this weekend has been the first opportunity that I have had to bake in a while. (I have been keeping up with TWD by strategic baking in advance!). My spare room still looks like a scene from the movie Iris, with stuff absolutely everywhere that I am not sure what to do with, but thankfully I can shut the door on it and ignore it for a while.

To christen my oven, I made Pear Ginger Muffins for my morning tea, using this recipe from Coconut & Lime. These smelt divine while baking, as they contain ginger and brown sugar. Instead of sour cream, I used (cheesecake flavoured!) low fat yoghurt, and I used William Bartlett pears, which are juicy, delicious and in season at the moment. Unlike Rachel, I removed the skins from the pears before dicing.

The pears make these muffins quite moist, and they have a wonderful ginger zing to them, because they contain a 2 inch knob of grated fresh ginger. I have never used fresh ginger in baked goods before, but I would gladly do so in the future, as the taste is more pronounced than using ground ginger. Overall, I enjoyed these muffins and would make them again.

Although it's about 3 weeks since I left my last jobs now, I wanted to share the lovely parting gifts that I received from my lawyer colleagues (I was seconded two days a week, so I really had two part-time jobs).

From Alison and Terry in Sydney, I received these lovely tulips and lillies, pictured in my wonderful Melbourne kitchen (my new kitchen is not anywhere near as big and has no window):

and from Loretta, Jason, Cameron, Kate and Rob in Melbourne (and chosen by Loretta and Kate), I received these lovely baking goods (they know me well!):

There is a cupcake apron by Davis & Waddell, a Wilton cupcake pan, heart-shaped silicone muffin cups, pink Wilton icing and pink and red heart decoration lollies. Watch this space for the ways in which I use these marvellous gifts.

(PS I miss you guys!!! I wish that circumstances could have been different, and I hope that I will work with you again or at least catch up at some time in the not too distant future.)

Finally, this afternoon, I saw The Boat That Rocked at the movies, about pirate radio broadcasters in the late 1960s. (Oddly, it seems that radio was once tightly regulated in the UK, and the BBC only played 45 minutes of rock and roll per day, so pirate broadcasters based in the North Sea played rock and roll for the masses 24 hours per day.) It is very funny, although not as good as I had hoped, and it features a fabulous 60s soundtrack. Rhys Ifans looked absolutely gorgeous in it, although I would hate that kind of guy in real life. The other Rhys, Rhys Darby from Flight of the Conchords, and Bill Nighy, plus the guy from The IT Crowd, provided some chuckle-worthy comic moments, and the young Carl (Tom Sturridge) was a cutie. If you like a good chuckle or a fan of 60s fashion or music, this is a fun movie to see.


Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Glad to hear that you're safely ensconced in your new place! The muffins look great and just the ticket for my ginger fiend husband. What lovely gifts you got! :)

Sara said...

The flowers are so pretty! The muffins look delicious too, I never cook with pears, but I really need to.

Mary said...

Great muffins!

Anonymous said...

May your new home be filled with peace, love, and many blessings!

Clivia said...

Fresh ginger and pears - this sounds delicious! I'm a huge Rhys Ifans fan, so I'll have to look for the movie. Congrats on your new home!

Astra Libris said...

Congratulations on your new home, and your new oven! Your new oven is indeed honored to be christened with these gorgeous muffins!!

Elyse said...

I'm glad you're all moved in, although I know it will take you some time to get settled. Close that door to the spare room and take a break for a while :) What better way to get used to a new place than by baking in it? These muffins look like a wonderful way to christen your oven! Yummmy!

Heather said...

yum! those sound super tasty!! pear and ginger! mmm.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the successful move! Your pear ginger muffins sound delicious.

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Lorraine. I liked the muffins best warm, but maybe that's just me.

Hi Sara, I never used to cook much with pears either (had a disaster with using underripe pears which didn't soften), but I have tried a couple of pear recipes in the last coiple of months using ripe pears with success.

Thanks Mary :)

Thanks ever so much Maryann - your kind wishes are appreciated.

Thanks Clivia. Hard to believe that gorgeous Rhys was Spike in Notting Hill!

Hi Astrid, thanks!

Hi Elyse, I love the way you think :) Thanks.

Hi Heather, the ginger flavour really comes through in these - I loved it.

Thanks Pinkstripes :)

Happy cook said...

I love the idea of ginger in the cupe cake.
Looks yumm.

A_and_N said...

thats very sweet of your friends!

and i've never tried baking with pears! and ginger does sound like a 'zingy' addition to the muffins :)

Cakelaw said...

Hi Happy Cook, the ginger is what makes it for me - love it!

Hi A&N, yes, weren't they lovely? Baking with pears is rewarding only if you use ripe pears - cue my diaster mentioned above using underripe pears.