Monday, September 19, 2011

HungrySister Presents: Cream Scones

I, like HungryMom, am NOT a baker. I don't like to measure, I don't own an electric mixer, and I have a really hard time being tied down to a recipe…not to mention every time I try to bake something it either collapses, explodes, or doesn't look anything close to what it is supposed to. For this reason I have let my much more baking-inclined roommate take over all baking activities in our kitchen. 

Don't get me wrong, I love love love desserts, sweets, baked goods, you name it. Love to the point where I give them up for Lent every year (and fail every year).

I was recently discussing fairs with my boyfriend and talking about how I can't wait until I can get my hands on some "fair food." His response was something like "I LOVE fair food! Elephant ears? SCONES!?" Now, I don't know about you, but in my mind fair food is funnel cakes, boardwalk fries, deep fried oreos, and smoked bbq sandwiches…I guess they do things a little differently in the Pacific Northwest! I have never in my life seen a scone served at a fair, but I get the idea of enjoying a handheld, flaky, buttery baked good while strolling around the fairgrounds.

I decided to make cream scones for breakfast and was a little apprehensive about successfully executing the recipe, but it worked! Even I, a baking disappointment, could master these little guys. The scones were delicious and really easy!

You'll need: 
2 cups all-purpose flour
3T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 C heavy cream
Milk for brushing
Decorative, or sparkling sugar (I used regular)

Heat oven to 400. Place rack in the middle position.
Line a baking sheet w. parchment paper, or spray with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, thoroughly whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the cream. Stir until everything is moistened and a soft dough is formed.

Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured counter and knead a few times, shaping it into a log about 8 inches long. 

Cut in two, then gently shape each half into a smooth disc about l inch thick.

With a sharp knife cut each disc into four pieces.

Arrange the 8 scones on the prepared baking sheet, leaving as much room as possible between them. Brush with milk, then sprinkle with sugar. Place in the oven and bake for 7 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake 15 minutes longer.


 Voila! Finished product. These are delicious with marmalade, raspberry jam, or any other filling of your choice!
I ended up making a couple of batches recently for my grandparents' birthdays - I added half a cup of mini chocolate chips to one batch and a tbsp or 2 of cinnamon to the other. Both turned out well!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

These are the things I wanted.

I wanted to BQ.  I made that no secret.  I wanted to prove to myself that I could run in the 3:30’s.  I’ve been dreaming of finally putting a marathon time to my name after giving up my MCM bib 2 years ago when we were pregnant with Sage.  I wanted to feel strong miles 20 to 26.  I wanted to sprint in to the finish, fall to my knees, and weep with joy at achieving what I had worked so hard for.  Getting to Boston.

Marathons are humbling.  By mile 22, I was at rock bottom.  I never thought 4 short miles could seem so long and impossible after the hundreds I’ve logged on the road to get to that moment.  Never in my life had I ever felt so incredibly exhausted.  Every fiber of my being wanted to stop, quit, give up, sit down.  My tank was absolutely depleted.  Mile by mile I slowly shed every ounce of pride and self righteousness left in this body until what was left was a very exposed and humbled soul.

The night before the marathon I decided to take a page from Kristin Armstrong and write prayer requests on my pace band.  Every mile had a prayer assigned to it.  Some miles were requests and some were praises.  These prayers literally carried me through the hard miles.  The air was certainly thick with patriotism the morning of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and the victims and their families weighed heavy on my heart for many quiet miles through the woods.  When I started to feel tapped out at mile 15, I remembered Brayden on my prayer list and I thought about his mother and her daily courage and trust in God’s plan for her family.  Surely I could survive another mile of hardship.  I prayed for my kids, Kevin, my sisters, my mom.  Neighbors, close friends going through hard times and even some strangers. I gave thanks over and over again for all the love and support I got from so many friends before the race.  I thought of them when I wanted to slow down.  They believed in me, I needed to believe in me!

I thanked God repeatedly for my friend Meredith who made the 4 hour trip with me to Allentown.  She’s the kind of friend who would run the last 14 miles of the marathon with you.  The kind of friend who, if in sheer exhaustion you rudely barked “water!!” would sprint up to the next water stop, fill your water, and run it back with a big smile and an encouraging word.  Do you have a friend who wants the absolute best for you? So much so that at the base of a towering, steep hill at Mile 24, at your weakest and most defeated moment, she would literally put her hand on your back and PUSH you up the hill?  I do, and I’m brought to tears all over again thinking how blessed I am for that!

Somewhere between miles 24 and 25 I realized that my all-important BQ had slipped out of my hands.  I would be mere minutes from qualifying.  But by that point I was completely okay with it. I never once, in 3 hours, 43 minutes and 3 seconds, gave up the fight.  I felt humbled and closer to God and my true self than I ever have. I learned so much about the beast of the marathon and the things I would do differently next time.  It was not at all what I went into this race wanting, but I left Allentown with the realization that every minute of the weekend was exactly what I needed.

You can’t always get what you want,
You can’t always get what you want,
And if you try sometimes, you find,
You Get What You Need.