Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Raspberry lime muffins and the National Celtic Festival

A couple of weekends ago we had the Queens Birthday long weekend.  It was lovely to have a weekend with time to relax, bake and clean, to go to the Farmers Market, the National Celtic Festival and the cinema.  We made the most of the limes in the garden with these Raspberry Lime Muffins.

I had first made these muffins in the previous week.  I had been out for lunch and rushed home to bake muffins before taking Sylvia to gymnastics after school.  The muffins were undercooked when I went to leave.  Life feels like this sometimes: crazy, busy and underdone.  I was glad E was about to take the muffins out once I returned them to the oven.

When we made them again last Monday we had a busy cleaning day.  We had to buy ingredients at the shops and wanted to do a cream cheese frosting.  But by the time we got back from the supermarket and baked the muffins, we were too tired for the frosting.  On both occasions I found that the muffins got a little damp and sticky on the top but were very edible for a few days.  I loved that they were not overly sweet and had lunch chunks of jammy raspberry.

While making the muffins, I had an epiphany.  My grater that I have had for many years is still great on the big holes but it is less impressive when it comes to finely grating.  So I found it was worth bypassing the grater.  I peeled the lime before juicing.  Then I used my chef's knife to slice very thin strips before chopping finely.  I really liked how much flavour and even a slight texture to the muffins.

Before baking the muffins a second time, I had a busy time of it.  On Saturday we had the Farmers Market, then watching Rocketman at the cinema (amazing) while Sylvia played hotels with her cousins, one of whom had received a real second hand cash register for her birthday.  The next day we went to the National Celtic Festival in Portarlington with my parents.

According to my blog (which is indeed a chronicle of many things in my life as well as a recipe journal) it is the fifth year we have been to the National Celtic Festival.  It is a great opportunity to see some Celtic folk music and dancing.  This year we didn't see much music but there were some great buskers and we saw one trio who sang a song with a memorable title of "I buried my wife and danced on her grave".

We always enjoy the festival for the opportunity to eat some Scottish food that reminds us of our recent visits to E's homeland.  We all had some tattie scones.  Sylvia scoffed an Irn Bru and when I went to get a can for myself I was very sad they had sold out.  I had a Gerry's vegie burger that had a pretty ordinary bun but a delicious patty.  My mum went for the Cornish pasties and my dad made a beeline for doughnuts.  It was pleasant to sit in the sun and listen to the music at the Village Stage.

This year, there was an interesting initiative where people could hire the B-alternative rent-a-kit for a minimal price.  Instead of plastic plates and cutlery, these were made of rice husks.  My mum commented that there was much less rubbish around the venue.

In previous years we have seen both music acts and dancing in the Village Stage.  This year I really loved it that they had moved the dancing to the Open Stage in a more central place.  It meant more free music and dancing.  And it meant more people stopping to enjoy the dancing.  The Irish and Highland dancing was great to watch.  Above is a photo of a Highland sword dance.  Most of the music was recorded but it was wonderful to see a bagpiper accompany some of the dances.  I was surprised to see some of the Irish dancers wearing glittery black hot pants and fingerless fishnet gloves.  These were very different to be beautifully embroidered dresses with full skirts of Irish dancers that I saw as a child, though a bit closer to the Riverdancers.

There are always lots of interesting activities at the festival.  This was a wishing tree in which scraps of fabric were available for people to write wishes on and hand on the tree.  A really nice activity that seemed minimal on environmental impact.

And on the third day of the long weekend we cooked and cleaned and watched tv.  It felt like a really good way to spend a long weekend.  I was very pleased to have these muffins for lunch at work for a few days after too.  I might have even had one for breakfast.  These are definitely a good way to use up some of the limes from our tree.

Previous visits to the National Celtic Festival: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2014

More raspberry recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Beetroot, raspberry and feta salad (gf)
Macaroon cake with raspberries (gf)
Raspberry lemonade (gf, v) 
Raspberry and white chocolate scones
Raspberry yoghurt cake
Rhubarb and raspberry no knead focaccia (v) 

Raspberry Lime Muffins
Adapted from Cookie and Kate
Makes 12 muffins

Wet ingredients:
3/4 cup soy milk
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup neutral oil (I used rice bran oil)
2 eggs, preferably at room temperature
1 teaspoons vanilla

Dry ingredients:
1 cup plain white flour
3/4 cup plain wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 large lime (abou1/2 teaspoon)

1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries

Mix wet ingredients in a small bowl or large jug and set aside for 5 minutes while you mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Now gently stir in the raspberries.  Spoon into a lined or greased 12 hole muffin pan.  Bake at 200 C for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

On the Stereo:
Elton John's Greatest Hits


  1. I don't mind the sticky tops of the muffins, and think they look and taste great without the frosting. The festival sounds like something Dave and I would enjoy :)

  2. This is well timed Johanna. I went to the freezer this afternoon to get some frozen peas for our dinner, and noticed a tub with frozen raspberries from our garden plot last year - so guess what I will be making come this w/e - Yes and we have lots of limes too! PS I prefer cakes without frosting. I think my D would enjoy the Celtic festival music, whereas I would enjoy the food!

  3. Another way to get only the zest and not the white pith from a lemon or lime is to use a vegetable peeler -- I think easier than a knife or grater. Your muffins must have been delicious!

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  4. These muffins look cute! Have you tried microplane graters? They're excellent. Mine has blunted a little but not much considering the use they get.


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