Monday, September 30, 2013

Fresh Pear and Walnut Muffins

So my husband wants me to go camping with him next weekend.  It is in the mid 30's during the day and well below freezing at night.  I did go camping with him in October last year (remember I was the horseshoe champion last winter), so I feel justified in saying no this year.  

But it did get us talking about past camping experiences, and growing up camping with my family, we had a lot of stories.  My family used to go camping with 6 kids, my mom and dad and sometimes, my grandma.  We all slept in a camper on the back of Dad's pickup.  The kids all rode in the back, something not allowed in this day and age.  Because there were so many of us, one of us got to sleep in the truck cab and have the whole bench seat to themselves, often times it was me.  

One night, we were tucking into a parking spot at a remote lake.  We had finished dinner, played cards and all gotten tucked into bed.  I had the truck cab and was sound asleep.  I am usually a very good sleeper.  In the middle of the night the whole camper was woken by a noisy bear trying to get into the garbage cans.  My family had a great view since it never gets dark in the summer and they watched as the bear struggled with the cans.  They were all in the back of the camper, I was in the truck cab.  My parents were really worried that I would wake up, get scared about the bear not 3 feet from our camper, and try to leave the cab and run into the camper, giving the bear something to chase.  That bear was really noisy.

But they didn't need to fear, I was a sound sleeper and slept through the whole event.  In the morning they all talked about the bear, I was disappointed that I didn't get to see it, and we had new rules about not leaving the cab in the middle of the night - no matter what.

Well, Fall is here and it is too darn cold to go camping.  I'll stay home with the dogs that can't travel, stay warm and far from any bears trying to get their last meals before they hibernate.  I'll be eating these pear and walnut muffins with my coffee.  It is time to start Muffin Mondays at work again, time to get baking.

Pear and Walnut Muffins
adapted from Perfect Muffins

2 cups self-rising flour
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup pear or apple juice
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large pear, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raw sugar

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line 12 muffin cups with paper cups.

In a large mixing bowl sift together flour and nutmeg.  Stir in brown sugar and 1/2 cup walnuts.  Make a well in the center.

In a small mixing bowl beat eggs, add juice and oil.  Add all at once to the flour mixture together with the chopped pear and stir until just moistened, batter will be lumpy.  Spoon into prepared muffin cups.
Sprinkle tops with walnuts and raw sugar.

Bake until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean, 15-20 minutes.  Remove the muffins from the oven and cool them in the pan for 5 minutes.  Remove them from pan and serve or cool on wire rack.

September 30, 2013   Daylight 11 hrs. 22 min. 8 sec.   Temp. H 36/ L 27°F

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