Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cheddar pepper scones

       Something momentous happens at 4:08 p.m. on Tuesday. Something big. Something for the ages.
       I'll be finishing my fetal pig dissection in GB lab.
       But maybe you didn't want to dwell on that.*
       I'll also be turning twenty-two. But I would definitely rather not dwell on that.
       I know, I know ... it could be worse. It could be the big 3-0. Stick around for another eight years and I guarantee a meltdown to rival Chernobyl. I just feel like if I'm this old, I should have life figured out by now. I should have finished War and Peace by now. I should know how to drive stickshift (or, heck, have driven on the highway more than once). I should be more adept at making meringue. At the very least, I should know for sure what I want to do after graduation in 19 months' time.

       But I'll just keep taking things day by day and trust that everything will work out in good time. If I learned anything in Poland last year, besides how to knead dough, fill cannelloni, and say "Where is the garbage can?" in Turkish, it's that some things should not be rushed. This includes relationships, and sauces, and post-office workers, and teaching a child how to use the present perfect. Seriously, you can't rush it. Otherwise nasty things happen ... like frustration, and curdling, and letters nearly going to Canada instead of Cambodia.
       These scones, on the other hand, can quite easily be rushed. They're quick, easy, and powerful. (Hoo boy, are they powerful. They're like Drano for the sinuses.) But let's get one thing straight: They're pronounced "skonns," as in, rhyming with "pons" (yes, the region of the brain) or "bonbons." If you utter the word "skohns" in my presence, rhyming with "moans" or "groans," I will never make you cinnamon rolls again. It's a corrupted American pronunciation and it makes my heart sad, my feet heavy, and my world dark. So if you're casting about for birthday gift ideas for me this year (or, hey, even Christmas I'm not picky), here's a thought: Convert to Sconism. Just Say Skonn, Not Skohn. It will warm my twenty-two-year-old heart ... and let's be honest, in weather like this (unless you're in, say, Venezuela — hello, lone reader in Venezuela! You're awesome!), we can all use a little warming.
       Merry Christmas season!

Cheddar pepper scones
(taken from this recipe from King Arthur Flour)
  • 3 c. flour
  • 2 T. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 T. sugar
  • ½ c. (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 c. grated cheddar cheese 
  • up to 1 T. black pepper (warning: the full amount was a bit much for me, but I'm notoriously wimpy about spicy foods)
  • ¾ c. buttermilk or plain yogurt

  1. Combine dry ingredients.
  2. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in cheese and buttermilk/yogurt, and combine well.
  3. Form dough into rough circle about an inch thick. Place dough on baking sheet lined with parchment and cut into 1½-inch squares. Separate squares slightly if desired.
  4. Bake at 400°F for 1520 minutes.

*If that's the case, I certainly won't tell you what we did in lab last week. Suffice it to say that it involved 950 mL of fluid and data measurements every 20 minutes.

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