By Teri Cayton
The Parsons Advocate
The Forest Festival was a hit and the weather was very cooperative. The trees are starting to turn and it was beautiful. I am happy when the festivals and fairs have good weather because I remember how disappointed I was as a kid when the weather was nasty.
Mom would take us up to Elkins at the crack of dawn because of all the things that used to go on at the college. There was wood chopping and sawing contests, the fiddle and banjo contest and the Knights of Columbus would have their horses there to do all kinds of stunts. I really loved that part because I was crazy over horses then and now.
The leaves are falling and it smells like fall. I am about ready to break out the warm hoodies and take long walks in the woods. I like this time of year because I remember going squirrel hunting with mom and just the smell of the woods brings back fond memories. Momma Said, “You don’t need to stop and smell the roses they just make me sneeze, give me the woods any day.”
A lot of hunting seasons are open already but the only thing I go out for are deer. I can’t sit for very long to hunt squirrel because all I do is fall asleep. It is a refreshing nap but I am sure all the animals are looking at me wondering why I have to come to their home to sleep. Maybe they would think I am Rip Van Winkle.
I will soon be contemplating the long walk to release Ripley’s ashes to the wind. She can join all the others before her and run free without the worry of cars. I really miss her but at least she went fast. I hate to see animals suffer after a traumatic incident like that. Momma Said, “We can all be so lucky to just close our eyes and go to that eternal sleep.”
Morning Glory Muffin Recipe
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ cup sweetened coconut, shredded
- ¾ cup raisins, light or dark
- 1 large apple, peeled, cored and grated (measure 3/4 cup)
- 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
- 2 cups grated carrots
- ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Grate the apple and measure out ¾ cup. Next, wrap the grated apple in a few paper towels and squeeze out the excess liquid. Discard the juice and set the grated apple aside. Be sure to drain the crushed pineapple as well, discard the juice.
- In a mixing bowl combine the flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir with a spoon to combine and set aside.
- In a larger mixing bowl combine shredded coconut, raisins, grated apple, drained crushed pineapple, grated carrots and chopped nuts. Stir with a spoon to combine and set aside.
- In a larger mixing bowl combine the eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Stir to combine with a fork or spatula for 20 seconds.
- Gradually mix in the dry ingredients and the fruit mixture, mixing by hand just until combined. The batter will be very thick!
- Cover the bowl with a towel and allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes. During this time, preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- For bakery style muffin tops, line a 12 count muffin pan with 6 muffins liners, meaning you’ll only fill every other muffin well with batter. Filling every other well allows the muffins to spread and dome without running into each other. For this recipe I used tulip muffin liners, you can find them on amazon. Tulip liners naturally produce a taller muffin so you don’t need to do the every other muffin method. If you’re using regular muffin liners, I recommend filling every other muffin well.
- Fill the liners full with batter. Use a butter knife to smooth the tops of the muffins if lumpy. Top the muffins with additional raisins, pecans and shredded coconut.
- Place one pan in the center of the oven and bake for 7 minutes at 425ºF, then keep the muffins in the oven, and turn the temperature down to 350ºF and bake for 13-17 minutes for regular liners and for 19-21 minutes for tulip liners, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing. Repeat with the remaining batter, making sure to bump the temperature back up to 425ºF.