Thug Kitchen | Carrot and Apple Muffins
Arming myself with my biggest tupperware tub I headed out to the brambles that have weaved their way through what was once, before our time, a well kept hedgerow. Now it’s good for blackberries and scratches.
I envisaged an idyllic experience. Country Life Kim, picking blackberries in the chill of an autumnal wind. I might wave at people driving past in Land Rovers or stop to chat to people riding horses. ‘Tally ho!’ I’d say. ‘I’m picking blackberries because I live off the fat of the land and I’m so country!’
But I missed the harvest. The few blackberries left were shrivelled and small. So much for the country bumpkin, I’m so out of tune with my garden I got to my crop a month late.
I mean, I can make them look fancier by photographing them in a margionally fancier fashion, like this:
Which is all very pretty and that, but I've still only got two blackberries. Not to be deterred, I decided to pick apples instead.
My neighbour has three glorious apple trees and as luck would have it, she doesn’t even like apples. I sent a text explaining my desire to be an apple baking queen of the kitchen and she replied inviting me to come and make the most of the fruits of her loom, quick before the wasps had all the fun.
I enlisted the help of my beautiful sister, Pipsy, who can’t see very well but is extremely willing to help out with any of my big ideas.
Firstly, let’s take stock of the endearingly delightful sign the neighbours left us.
Not everyone strikes gold with their neighbours. There's a reason they make TV shows called Neighbours From Hell, not I Love My Neighbours. But our TV show would indeed be called I Love My Neighbours, for they are wondrous souls. Altogether now... 'That's when good neighbours become good friends...' While I'm segueing to Australian soap operas, I happened to switch on a telly the other day and Home and Away was on. I joked to my husband that Alf would be on screen any minute. THEN HE WAS. I haven't seen that show for over a decade. He's still there guys, so all's good in Summer Bay.
Sister Pip was a dab hand at apple picking. I stood her in front of the low hanging fruit, she felt upwards, found apples, twisted them off their stalks and deposited them in our apple collecting basket. WE WERE BEING SO COUNTRY.
There was just one problem with my assistant. I could not get her to work at the kind of sweatshop speed I’d have liked, because she had a side project in collecting any leaves she found “for later” in her pockets. Any apple that left the tree with a leaf intact slowed down our production line by at least 20 seconds while Pip pocketed the leaf.
She soon had pockets like hamster's cheeks, stuffed full of dry leaves that she later admitted perhaps wouldn’t make the best long-term toys.
I don’t protest to be a proficient baker. But what I lack in end-result perfection I make up for in enthusiasm.
So we got to baking. This recipe is from the legends over at Thug Kitchen.
Shredded carrot and apple muffins. Here's the recipe:
While the muffins are in the oven, it's important to consider props. If you want to curate an image as an ethereal, graceful, floaty foodie who just effortlessly whips up a batch of muffins that look as good as they taste, you're going to need props. Especially if, as became the case here, they did not look as good as they taste. Distract from your flat, sorry looking muffins with pretty flowers!
DING DING! Muffins are ready! Mmm, warm out of the oven. Not flat and a bit 'meh', but surrounded by apples and flowers, thus, titillating!
Flat muffins that look nothing like you’d expect a muffin to look. But if I surround them with flowers, put them on pretty plates and take pretty photos, it’s okay isn’t it?
I sent the above photos to my husband, who is an actual professional photographer and was out taking actual professional photographs while I pissed about at home with apples and flowers. 'Try putting icing sugar on it,' he said. So I did.
They may not be ridiculously good looking, but they were damn good tasting. I should know, I ate seven in one go, just to make sure.