Tea and Sympathy

SconesOver the past few days, the news has alternately made me angry and disappointed. Disappointed overall in the lack of empathy I'm seeing folks have for others who lack their privilege. And angry to see those smugly assured they will never be poor, or female and pregnant raising a child alone, and thus can not imagine why we should provide social support for those who need it.

When I've seen folks in my twitter feeds being hateful, I've unfollowed. When I've seen thoughtful posts such as the one I linked to above, I have shared them. I am only one person, but I try to do what I can.

Most of what I can truly impact is, of course, my own immediate surroundings. How I behave, my empathy for others. And of course, my baked treats. For as long as I can remember, I've used baking as a way to show those close to me that they have my love and support. (And I've contributed a fair number of treats to charity bake sales.)

This is why today I am finally getting off my butt and making my blueberry scones. I'd wanted to bake them for my team for Christmas, but I battled a nasty cold for most of Christmas, and colds and baking do not mix. So there you have it — Christmas in February: Frog Hollow jam and scones from me. It's a small gesture, but one from the heart.

Recipe adapted from the Ritz Carlton Book of Afternoon Tea, a gift many years ago from the fabulous Miss Mitzi.

  • 3 cups flour, self-rising
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter (8 TBSP)
  • 1 1/3 cups 2% milk
  • 1 cup dried blueberries (Substitute a cup of Guittard milk chocolate chips if you are not a blueberry fan)

Butter 2 cookie sheets or spray with cooking spray; set aside. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F (220 c.) Sift dry ingredients together. Add butter, cutting in or thumbing in, until butter is integrated throughout, as tiny flakey crumbs. Slowly pour in milk, stirring in with a knife until just combined. Add blueberries, and stir in. You will have a very sticky dough. You may roll out the dough on a floured board to a 1 cm (1/2 inch) thickness and cut with a 2" pastry cutter into rounds, or use a floured ice cream scoop to make the balls of dough equal sizes and drop onto your cookie sheets. Personally, I prefer the drop scones, as you get some crunchy bits on top.

Bake 12-15 minutes until they are golden on top. makes 20 drop scones, or 24 rolled scones. 3 Weight Watchers PointsPlus points per scone.

Buttermilk Pancakes

OK, I have to admit it — my made from scratch pancakes are always made with Bisquick, unless I am using sourdough starter. For whatever reason, they just turn out better (and save me from washing measuring utensils.) Here's my recipe.

Buttermilk Pancakes
2 cups bisquick
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk

In a bowl, mix the ingredients in the order listed, until combined. Heat a grill until a few sprinkles of water on the grill sizzle. Ladle 2 full spoonfulls of batter per pancake onto the griddle. Cook on 1 side until it is brown (the top should have bubbles and no longer be liquid), then flip and cook other side until brown. Makes about 4 large pancakes. Serve with butter and maple syrup.

honey yogurt

While in Italy this Summer, I fell in love with the Parmalat honey yogurt in its wee glass containers. Given their restructuring, I won’t hold my breath that they will start shipping to the US any time soon. BUMMER.

Luckily, Trader Joe’s has the FAGE Greek yogurt with honey. With its flexible plastic container that allows you to flip the honey well upside down and neatly into the yogurt without spilling even a drop onto your table top, it’s perfect for taking to work for breakfast or a 3:00 p.m. snack. Better yet, taste-wise, it evokes the parmalat.

The only area of complaint is it’s less smooth and silky than the Parmalat. And the fact that the honey is kept separate and you have to stir it in means an uneven distribution of the honey. But I’ll take what I can get.