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.
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.
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 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.
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Scones
Yields 8 scones
2 cups (240 grams) whole wheat flour
1/4 cup (56 grams) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (85 grams) cold butter, cubed
3/4 cup (128 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
1 large egg, slightly beaten
2/3 cup (158 ml) heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter with pastry blender or your hands until mixture resembles coarse sand. Stir in chocolate chips. Mix in egg, heavy cream, and vanilla until the dough comes together.
Turn out on a lightly floured surface, form a ball, and flatten it until it is about 1-inch thick. Using a sharp knife dipped in flour, cut 8 equal pie wedges (for sweeter scones, sprinkle a little granulated sugar on top of the dough). Transfer scones to a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Serve warm or at room temperature.