Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Thatcher Farm and Honey Bran Muffins

As I’ve mentioned before, we’re so lucky to live in the area we do. A short drive into the city but still nestled among some really incredible agriculture. During growing season we busy ourselves visiting the Farmers Market and getting to know local growers but we also like to frequent the actual farms themselves. Not all farms are open to the public but I think you’d be surprised at how many would be happy to show you around their farm and talk ‘shop’ with you if you called and inquired. Farmers are so proud of what they produce and I’ve heard time and time again how they get so much out of talking to the consumer about their products. Although we have our ‘regular’ farms we frequent, I’m always looking to expand our local food network and see what treasures we can find. Well this week we happened to find ourselves a new favorite! Thatcher Farms has shown up on my radar a few times and it’s been on my ‘to do’ list for over a year now. I’m happy to report that we now have an new absolute staple in our farm repertoire. Thatcher Farms is a family owned and operated business that produces beef, pork and lamb as well as Omega 3 eggs and gorgeous golden honey.  Needless to say, we went home with a little of everything that day.

When we pulled in the driveway we were instantly greeted with an ‘egg house’ which just so happens to be one of my favorite things about living in the country. They operate on the honor system and in this day and age it’s a real breath of fresh air. At the end of the driveway was a beautiful farm house and behind it we could see the barns. As we approached the barns we saw two small children playing, some men standing off by a new structure that was being built, a dog sleeping under a pick-up truck and a woman working in the garden. When she spotted our car she stood up, dusted herself off and headed into their ‘Country Market’. The market was rather small but was just full of so many different and amazing cuts of meats, both fresh and frozen. The Thatcher’s raise all their animals on their 140 acre farm and are proud to say that all their animals are raised naturally and hormone free. I also loved the idea that they have a butcher on site! We weren’t able to stay long this visit but we’re planning a trip back there in about a week and I’m really looking forward to using their amazing meat in some upcoming recipes. In the meantime, here’s a quickie recipe for Honey Raisin Bran Muffins.  I absolutely love bran muffins and adding the honey in place of molasses made a significant difference.  They were light and golden and the honey and raisins loved each other!  I'm always on the look-out for great bran muffin recipes so send them my way if you have a favourite!

Honey Raisin Bran Muffins

1½ cups wheat bran
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg
⅓ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup raisins (I prefer to reconstitute the raisins to get them really plump and juicy)

Preheat oven to 375°F

Grease muffin 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.  Cover raisins with boiling water for 5 minutes, drain and set aside.

Mix together wheat bran and buttermilk and let sit while you beat together oil, egg, sugar, honey and vanilla, add to buttermilk/bran mixture. Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Stir flour mixture into buttermilk mixture, until just blended. Fold in raisins and spoon batter into prepared muffin tins.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.


1 comment:

  1. I love how simple and clean this recipe is. The muffins look moist. Honor system eggs...what's not to love about that? And that honey is so golden. Beautiful photos, as usual :)