February 29, 2016
Today begins the chapter on SCONES…a favorite of mine to make and EAT. These are currant scones made with 2 ingredients I’ve not used in making scones before…dark brown sugar and yogurt.
Right from the get-go I felt things were rather amiss. After preparing the sheet pan with parchment paper, setting the oven to 425 degrees and combining the cinnamon/sugar to top the scones before baking I began to combine the dry ingredients with the cubed butter. Using my finger tips I began the process of incorporating the butter into the flour mixture. Well, my arthritic hands rebelled!
As much as I tried to complete this critical part of the scone I did not succeed. Should I pull out my food processor? The recipe did not call for any devices requiring an electrical cord. Humm…so, I continued with the recipe adding the rest of the ingredients and finally the yogurt. Oh dear, what a mess. The yogurt did not moisten the dough enough to form the 8 inch square required. As it stressed not to over work the dough, I just dumped the mess on my floured board and tried to mold it into a square. I then randomly cut out the scones, topped each with the cinnamon/sugar topping and baked. The result…DISASTER!
(At this point, I wondered if perhaps all the meds I’ve been taking, especially the prednisone, might be causing me to hasten my work. Yes, I do think my need for detail and patience went out the window replaced by lack of attention to the recipe causing failure. Back to the drawing board tomorrow.)
March 1, 2016
Off to the grocery store to replenish the larder with flour, dark brown sugar among other staples. Mission accomplished.
Today I am doing the Currant Scones again…with patience and precision! Everything was in place before the actual mixing began.…currants, sugar/cinnamon mixture, flour and remaining dry ingredients. I did have to use my food processor which made me feel OLD. ( I have to interject a very valid point the book makes…read the entire recipe before beginning!)
After the dry ingredients were combined in the processor, I then dumped them into a large bowl, adding the yogurt. With a small hand scraper, I incorporated everything together without too much muscle action (as if). The moistened dough was then put on a floured work space, shaped into an 8 inch square and dusted with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
Proceeded to cut the square into 6 squares then cut each of these squares on the diagonal. The scones appear to be moist and light unlike yesterday’s fiasco. Popped them into the oven, made a cup of coffee and thumbed through the newspaper.
Oh my, they are rustic but lovely. I pulled one apart to see if they baked evenly…yes, they had. Now for the first bite…delightful. Light with a burst of flavor that lingers on the palate…I am truly pleased with todays results. Tomorrow I will make cranberry/walnut scones, a variation of the currant scone.
As a side comment, the above scones were delivered to my son and his family in Bath last evening. They were hosting a Bon Voyage gathering on the eve of their departure to the Caribbean. We had the most delicious tastes of the islands inspired by a buffet prepared by my daughter-in-law. My son made island rum drinks that had Mamie (me) relaxed and wishing she were going with them. We sang songs like, “Holiday” and “It’s not a dream your seeing down in the Caribbean”…remember that one? The teenage boys were not too impressed and soon were off saying…”see you when we get back”…
A word from one who has to do everything at least twice, I have to tell you…if you take your time, plan your time and set aside any other business, follow the recipe with well rested eyes and body you will succeed the first time. The recipes are so instructional and detailed that one should nail it on the first go.
March 2, 2016
The same process as above was completed except dried cranberries and walnuts replaced the currants. The recipe suggested using Turbinado sugar instead of the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Since I do not have this item in my pantry I again used the c/s mixture. No oh-oh’s and with that, considered these scones a success.
Tonight is “Turbo Tax Night” with daughter No. 2. Hopefully, a scone or two will help make the task less painful.
March 3, 2016
Today I resumed my Thursday morning league bowling in Brunswick. After that, it will be a trip to Now You’re Cooking in Bath to find Turbinado sugar. Then on to the local fish market for crabmeat that will be made into “cakes” for lunch upon my arrival home. I love my life> <3
Returned from my Thursday outing successfully obtaining the Turbinado sugar. Mike, at Now You’re Cooking, told me they didn’t carry this item but did tell me that good old Reny’s did. Thanks, Mike!…you’ve always been so helpful over the years.
Dried Apricot/Toasted Almond Variation
Again, repeated the above scone recipe using chopped apricots and roasted almonds. (There is a guide on roasting nuts in the back of the cookbook that is very helpful.) The scones were dusted with the Turbinado sugar, which I have to say was well worth the extra effort to find.
March 4, 2016
Today is a busman’s holiday. Baking on the docket but switching from scones to cakes! Tomorrow Dick and I are headed to Phippsburg to have lunch with old friends who just happen to be the parent’s of my daughter-in-law. Thumbing through “Pastries” I found a flourless chocolate cake that will certainly be a perfect addition to the day. I will repeat this in my blog later. At that time I’ll do the play by play. (Just a side note…it’s a lovely cake topped with whipped cream and mixed berries.)