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Entries in scone (11)

Sunday
Nov112012

Chai Pear Scones

Chai Pear Scones

I've scarcely seen the sun in the last month. Thick clouds obscure the light, turning day into reflections of night. Even though my body aches for a good dose of vitamin D, the overcast skies and foggy mornings lend a beauty all their own. Mother Nature's dreary mood makes it easy to stay at home, buried underneath blankets, sipping hot black tea. Comfort food fits the character of the weather. Earlier this week I made a batch of homemade chicken noodle & barley soup; half a dozen hot meals later, I can say with certainty that I'm glad to have used the biggest pot.

Though the leaves have left the trees bare long ago, fall weather is still in the air.

Chai Pear Scones

With gloomy skies outside the window, it has become increasingly difficult to pull myself out of bed in the morning. In the summer, when the sun rises bright and early, I feel awake and ready for the day, afraid I may miss out if I linger in bed any longer. In the fall, I'm lucky to see the other side of eight in the morning. The dark, sunless skies make me want to bury myself in the warmth of the blankets and stay in bed for hours, cozy and comfortable. Despite how I'd rather spend my mornings, responsibilities never stop calling. I allow myself to hit the snooze button once or twice, using it to prolong the inevitable first steps out of bed.

With sleepy eyes and an aversion to brightness, I slowly find a way to face the day.

Chai Pear Scones Chai Pear Scones

The long, dark weather makes it difficult for me to get any real work done. In between watching television and reading books, I'm drawn to the warmth of the oven and sweetening the air with the scents of autumn. Dark, moody days are my favorite for photography. I know most photographers prefer to shoot by the bright light of the sun, but I adore how the somber light brings sharp shadows and a rough texture to the food. The food somehow feels more raw to me, making the food appear less overdone (but no less appetizing).

These scones were photographed on the dreariest morning of last week. With a rain streaked window and only a hint of light coming in through the panes, I feel like I managed to capture the essence of the morning.

Chai Pear Scones

Chai Pear Scones is where the love of scones meets the enchantment of a cup of tea. The chai spices complement the complexity of a ripe pear in this simple breakfast pastry. A good sprinkling of sugar on top of the scones before they go into the oven ensures they will develop a thin, sweet crust which adds great texture to an otherwise tender scone. The scones themselves are not very sweet, so the subtle nature of the pears is truly able to shine through. I've said it before and I'll say it again—scones and overcast skies are meant to be enjoyed together.

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Thursday
Oct182012

Apple Cinnamon Scones

Apple Cinnamon Scones

The world looks different through a rain splattered window. With heavy clouds hanging low in the sky, the colors appear muted. The bright tones and highlights of a sunny day are subdued as the world takes on various shades of gray. The droplets of water clinging to the glass each hold a tiny world, of homes and life and trees, giving a new perspective on the view outside the window. As the droplets gather speed cascading down the window, they are replaced by newly fallen rain and the cycle continues.

Rainy days gift moments of peace.

Apple Cinnamon Scones

Scones remind me of rainy mornings, overcast skies, and the hesitant light just before the sun rises. When I worked as a baker, the first item I made each morning were scones. The world was quiet, still asleep in bed, as the scents of baking swirled out of the oven. In my mind, scones have become inseparable from those early mornings. When the world is quiet from a sprinkling of rain or heavy clouds prolong the darkness of the morning, I feel drawn to the kitchen, drawn to the flour, butter, and heavy cream.

Scones and tea are simple pleasures on a dreary day.

Apple Cinnamon Scones

With most of the recipes I conjure up in the kitchen, I start with a vision, but as soon as the baking process begins, the vision changes as I reach for ingredients and it morphs into a new one altogether. These scones didn't end up quite as I had planned, but I think it was for the better. Caramelized apples on the stove, the wafting scents of cinnamon and spice, and the feel of dough beneath my fingers accompanied the sound of raindrops against the window.

I wouldn't want to have it any other way.

Apple Cinnamon Scones

Apple Cinnamon Scones are soft and fragrant. The apples are caramelized in a bit of sugar before they are added to the batter, which gives them a bright flavor after baking. A sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar on top of the scones provides just the right touch of sweetness. Though these scones may certainly be enjoyed any day of the year, the warmth of the cinnamon and the scent of apples caramelizing on the stove are traditionally autumn.

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Friday
Sep142012

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Scones

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Scones

Sometimes I try to do too much. At times, it can be by choice. It's not unusual for me to stay up late to type out a few paragraphs of a story I want to share with you. On most occasions, however, I do too much out of necessity. It comes with the territory of managing being a full-time student and juggling two part-time jobs. When I'm not buried in a textbook or typing up an essay, I'm neglecting the household chores, allowing the dirty dishes to pile up in the sink and the dust to settle on the end tables. The balance in my life is missing. I'm not sure when the balance began to teeter or when it plans to return, but I do hope it happens soon.

I feel like "trying to do too much" seems to be the motto for many people. We may not always have our sanity, but at least we have solidarity.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Scones

During times of stress, I often forget that it's important to take time to enjoy the small moments. These moments may not feel significant in the grand scheme of things, but in the present they are a soothing presence. The scent of the change of the seasons blowing in the wind. Singing along when my favorite song comes on the car's radio. Leftovers waiting in the refrigerator after an evening of working late.

The beauty harbored in a light morning rain.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Scones

I woke up to dim skies and the sound of rain beating against the sidewalk. It was a quiet morning, somehow made quieter by the steady music outside the window. I could have had a bowl of cereal and settled into a morning of work, but I refrained. Morning rain can be rarity in the Midwest; it felt shameful not to take the time to revel in nature's languid drizzle.

I turned on the oven and made a batch of scones. The scones weren't complicated or elaborate; they were rustic, with rough edges and imprecise cuts. I didn't need them to be perfect. They just needed to be honest.

I savored a scone in the cloudiness of the morning, taking my time to enjoy the softness of each bite, before cracking open a textbook and starting another day. The moment may have been small, but it was exactly what I needed.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Scones

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Scones are simple and unpretentious. The scones come together easily with a little butter, a little cream, and whole wheat flour to add a more robust flavor. The scones are not terribly sweet, but I don't think they need to be. A scattering of chocolate chips brings all the sweetness an early morning needs.

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