Tuesday Teatime: Nunnymollers
Liam has the Redwall bug. He’s whipping through the series like a hurricane. His older brother had the same reaction to the Redwall series. I cooperated with the addiction by reading two of the books aloud to the entire family. Yes, they’re delightful in their own way and Brian Jacques has to be commended for creating clever dialects, delightful animal characterizations and repeatedly stimulating battles that keep kids on the edge of their seats.
Not so much for moms, though, I confess. I have a hard time keeping my mind on the plots being that they are a tad predictable. Good guys, bad guys, heirloom swords, epic confrontations, moles with Yorkshire accents.The usual drill. I’ll be reading along and suddenly pages will go by while my brain is elsewhere (like, say, on lunch or when is that orthodontist appointment again?, and Oh! I can’t wait for American Idol to start…). Suddenly, out of the blue, one of the kids will ask, “What do you think Mom? What will happen next?”
Uh, Simon will be mean to a girl from South Dakota?
Oh, wait, Redwall, you say. Thinking, thinking. I used to stumble around bluffing, until one day, I stumbled on a sturdy, reliable answer—one I could use at the end of every chapter for every book. I offer it to you, in case, like me, your mind wanders a wee bit while you read: “The bad guys are getting ready to attack Redwall Abbey and the good guys are getting ready to defend it.” Works just about every time. 🙂 (Thought it might help Melissa Wiley, too.)
Now honestly, I love the series. I love the way it engages readers, infects them with the drive to read hundreds of pages. More than anything though, I thank Brian Jacques for making my kids’ mouths salivate with a desire for dandelion cordial and meadowcream because those cravings drove us to purchase the Redwall Cookbook last week. Unlike the fictional series, I’ve combed every page for meal time inspiration.
Liam and I were immediately drawn to the recipe for Nunnymollers. We sifted the flour and confectioner’s sugar together while cutting in the crumbled butter. We palmed the mixture into small balls of dough which we then flattened into five inch discs. We spread a thin layer of honey across each one, dotting the tops with three fresh raspberries each. Finally, Liam and I pinched the sides up into little purses and topped them with dollops of raspberry jam.
Into the oven they went. 30 minutes later we had teatime ala Redwall. My mind didn’t wander. Neither did my tongue… or my hips which now proudly sport the effects of white flour, sugar and butter. New Year’s weight loss resolutions be damned. I snarfed down four of those suckers. Oh. My. Deliciousness. They are sooooo good.
Here’s the recipe:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter cubed
12 strawberries, 12 raspberries (fresh)
Raspberry or strawberry jam
1. Preheat oven to 350. Whisk flour and sugar together. Add butter and rub it in with your fingers (or pulse in food processor) until mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Sprinkle 3-4 tablespoons of ice cold water, mixing with fork or pulsing in food processor.
2. Divide dough into twelve 2-inch balls. Use your palm or rolling pin to flatten each ball into a 5-inch round.
3. Spread each round with a thin layer of honey. Place 1 strawberry and 1 raspberry in the center. (We used three raspberries and no strawberries in ours.) Fold edges of dough “in” toward the center, leaving a small opening in the middle. Pinch folds. Put a dollop of jam on top.
4. Bake until firm and golden, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool on wire rack before serving.
Make some fragrant tea to go with them. If you’re tired of straight black tea, you can enhance the flavor by adding a fistful (bunch) of fresh mint leaves to steep with your tea bag. Once steeped, pour into mugs and add honey to taste. (Another recipe compliments Redwall.)
By the way, I need more teatime photos from your houses! Send them to me: Julie [at] bravewriter [dot] com. I’ll post them on Tuesdays. They are often the favorite posts of the week. For your trouble, we send a complimentary issue of the Arrow or Boomerang.