Wednesday 19 May 2010

A lovely May day . . .

Lovely are the lanes of England
when the hedges are in flower.
Fragrant is the scent of May
that drifts from every cottage bower.
Charming are the little gardens where
the wayside orchards grow,
When the lupins line the borders
and the lilac tassels blow.
Everything is fresh and sparkling,
Warm by sun and washed by rain.
May have waves her magic wand
and all the world is young again.
~author unknown

Oh what a lovely day we had here yesterday. The sun was shining and that cold wind was gone. We were able to walk around in our shirt sleeves and bask in the warmth. It was lovely.

All about there was the sound of lawns being mowed and hedges being clipped . . . and that scent in the air of fresh cut grass . . . is there anything lovelier? I think not, or at least not at this moment! Birds were singing, children were playing, the laughter of adults enjoying their first full day in the springtime warmth filled the air.

It seemed like everyone had thrown out their doors and were spilling out into their gardens and onto the streets to enjoy it . . . kiddies and grown ups alike. It was so lovely to see . . .

Little girls playing jumprope and young lads kicking footballs back and forth across the road . . . does anything ever really change? It was ever the same when I was a child . . .

You can not find a more beautiful place on earth . . . than England in the sunshine. I have always known this to be true in my heart . . . and after the long cold winter we have had, yesterday seemed all the more beautiful. It was like God was smiling down on us . . . and I believe He was.

We took ourselves off to McDonalds for an ice cream and sat outside . . . the warmth of the sun caressing us with it's rays. It was just lovely, and so refreshing to be able to sit in the outside and breathe it all in . . .

We planned to go down to the river and bask in the scenery and warmth after tea last night . . . but alas, by then the clouds had rolled back in.

Nevermind . . . the warmth and sun were ours for a time, and . . . it will come again. Oh I do love May! Don't you??

These are muffins that started off as a loaf. Its long been my favourite Banana loaf recipe, but for a change I thought I would make it into muffins. Don't you just love muffins? They are like little treasures that you can hold in your hand . . . not that they are there for very long, mind!!! These stay moist and fresh for days it seems. Delicious!

*Banana Muffins*
Makes 12
Printable Recipe

This is a delicious muffin, moist and chock full of banana flavours. I like to split them and fill them with some buttercream, but you don't have to really. They are good all on their own.

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter softened
3/4 cup soft light brown sugar, packed
3 large ripe bananas, sliced
2 TBS sour cream
dash of vanilla
2 large eggs
12 toasted pecan halves for garnish
vanilla buttercream icing for spreading (optional)
(I used Betty Crocker this time. It was fine.)

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ Gas mark 4. Generously grease a 12 cup muffin tin and set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder, soda and cinnamon into a large bowl. Set aside.

Place the butter and brown sugar in another bowl and cream together with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy. Drop in the bananas and add the sour cream and vanilla. Beat together for about a minute until the bananas are well incorporated. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the flour mixture, gradually.

Divide the batter into the twelve muffins cups. Top each with a whole pecan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until well risen and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to sit in the pan for five minutes before removing them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

If desired, split cooled muffins in half and spread some buttercream in the middle before serving.

Note - You can also bake this in a well greased 9 by 5 by 3 inch loaf tin. Increase the bakign time to 1 hour. You can also stir in some white or semi sweet chocolate chips (about 8 ounces) for an additonal layer of flavour, along with some chopped toasted pecans (about one cup). Yummy!

Over on The English Kitchen today, a delicious Chicken Salad, chock full of crunch and fabulous tastes.


  1. Good morning Marie!
    I wholeheartedly agree with you about England in the summer, probably because we get our fair share of rain, that's why we appreciate the sunny days. Then again if it wasn't for the rain we wouldn't have the lush green grass and beautiful flowers.
    I'm afraid I won't be printing this recipe because even though I like bananas, I don't like them IN anything! Peter doesn't like bananas at all so we don't buy them very often.
    Counting the days until we see you next week in Chester!! ~~~Love, Pat x

  2. I would love to see England in the sunshine. I love to hear about your days.

  3. When we get a perfect May day like yesterday there's nowhere like England. Or even today which is cloudier but a tad warmer. Travelling the 20 or so miles to Gainsborough yesterday I was struck by how brilliant in colour the countryside was. Fresh, unsullied foliage on the trees and hedgerows and the brillant yellow of the rape fields. Perfect.

  4. i know just how you felt Marie. I felt the same way too in yesterday's sunshine. It was just a big surge of happiness that was too big to contain which then spilled out into a day long smile on my face. Wonderful! lol
    I guess it has affected everyone, just so, after such a dreich winter.
    Enjoy your strolls and the company of Todd as you explore your lovely Chester together.
    Jeanie xxx

  5. In all my life I don't think I have appreciated spring as much as this year. I too love the smell of freshly cut grass and the garden noises of clippers and mowers and kids having fun.

    I don't mind the rain so much but the gloomy gray skies day after day do me in. But it is hopefully almost past now! We had several little teasers before it seemed like it would last!

    I am so glad you enjoyed your day!

  6. Dear Marie,

    What a lovely post! All of the flowers are so sweet! I am glad you are enjoying wonderful spring weather! I am sure God was smiling down on you! I would love to see England in the spring time. I can imagine how beautiful it is!!! I love the sweet image you shared and the lovely poem too! Thank you for sharing the recipes, they both sound so yummy, and your photos are so pretty!

    Enjoy your day! Love, Paula

  7. The sun is trying to shine today and I'm hoping to get out for a walk. It is warmer. The banana muffins sound so tempting and I do love chicken salad of just about any variety. I'll have to try out your recipes. I hope your Wednesday is wonderful.

  8. I too agree Marie.I took to the garden and was still pottering believe it or not at almost 9pm.Resting in between of course on the bench in the sun,for a chin wag withmy Daughter.Roll on more of the sunshine it's been too long a winter for me this year and the older you get the longer they seem believe me.So happy you had a lovely day together.Take Care God Bless Kath xx

  9. I am so glad you are enjoying Spring. We are too but I saw the long forecast holds 4 days of "showers" next week. What is happening to our world? All is lovely and green but everyone is so ready for a little dry spell.


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