Monday, September 19, 2016

Blueberry and Polenta Muffins and life in the slow lane that they call retirement

Retirement and a satisfying life in the slow lane

Go straight to recipe from here:
My beautiful new cream Dendrobium orchid.

As I sit here typing on my computer, it is occurring to me how many other things I have on the go at the same time, and that my brain is processing in the background. Whilst I suppose that my main focus is typing up this recipe and thinking about how delicious these muffins are and when I can justify having another one, I am thinking about the sour dough bread I need to start preparing which I always try to bake on Mondays. Loads of washing are being hung out as they finish. I am on call to Mr. HRK who is in the final stages of building a breakfast bar for us from some exquisite Mackay Cedar wood he was gifted by the Dad of a very good friend, the Bowen Beauty. I am texting a friend inviting her for coffee, and also thinking about the beef broth I have had cooking in the slow cooker for the last 36 hours and which now needs attention.

 I'm trying not to think about the housework that should be done as well. Monday is generally a stay at home day to attend to all of these things but is this really any different to being out at work, where I was at everyone's beck and call and the day was full of interruptions of various kinds? Even though I was the Manager in my previous job, the big difference is that now I am my own boss here with no real deadlines except mostly those that I impose on myself. Then there is my spy novel by ex CIA agent Jason Matthews that I am reading with only a chapter to go that I will be finishing this afternoon after lunch. I can hardly wait to read those final pages, and then I will feel quite sad for a little while  that I have finished it.

So life certainly isn't dull in the slow lane that they call retirement.

Polenta is an ingredient that I have rarely cooked with, and when I saw this recipe and realised that I have a whole unopened packet in my pantry it was a given. There are so many muffin recipes out there now, particularly blueberry ones, however I think that the addition of polenta to the flour mix improves the texture, flavour and colour, and also makes them a healthier option than just using plain flour. Polenta is high in dietary fibre and low in fat. There are probably finer brands of polenta available from delicatessens, however I bought this Sostanza brand from the supermarket and it worked well. So combined with the beautiful purple and luscious blueberries, these are a winner. Mr. HRK isn't a great fan of muffins, but he really likes these. Some are already in the freezer, in anticipation of those needy moments that we all have.


220g plain flour
100g finely ground polenta
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2 free range eggs
1 cup milk
120 g unsalted butter, melted
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries ( I used frozen and they worked beautifully)

Let's cook:

Preheat your oven to 180 deg. C, or 160 deg for a fan forced oven.
Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.

  1. Mix flour, polenta, baking powder, baking soda, pinch salt, orange zest and brown sugar in a medium sized bowl. Refine any lumps using your fingers.
  2. Whisk eggs, milk and slightly cooled melted butter.
  3. Pour the egg mixture over the flour, mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Stirring the muffin mixture too vigorously will toughen the batter.
  4. Fold the blueberries in gently. 
  5. Spoon the batter into your prepared muffin tins, filling each of your muffin papers about 3/4 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick or small skewer inserted in the centre of the muffin comes out clean. If they are nicely browned and bounce back to the touch and have small cracks on the top they are probably cooked.
Makes 12 muffins

Even if you aren't retired yet, do you find that when you are working on a computer project, that your mind is still processing a lot of other things at the same time, or is that the domain of the retiree? To all of the muffin lovers, do you ever put icing on  them, or is that breaking the rules? I would love to hear from my friends who may be reading this.

Recipe borrowed and modified from David Herbert's recipe in the Weekend Australian. Good one Dave.


  1. They sound really good, I like the sound of blueberry and orange. I suppose polenta would make these similar to American cornbread?? I laughed out loud when I read Bowen Beauty!!

  2. Cornbread has more polenta than flour I think and can be slightly crumbly and I don't know that they add fruit to it...I'm sure your hubby would agree that you are a Bowen Beauty:)

  3. Sounds like you're having a great time. My parents are retired and they are very busy all the time! I like the addition of the blueberries :)


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