30 May 2011

Iced Tea, Scones and a Good Read



I have just finished reading Molly Wizenberg's memoir called A Homemade Life. Molly's blog, Orangette was one of the first blogs that I fell in love with when I first began learning about food blogs. I love her space because of the quality of her writing ... I think she actually studied writing as an undergrad. Her talent has shown through on the blog and now in her first book. To say that her book is about her blog would be a big fat falsehood ... her book is about her approach toward food as guided by her family and in particular, her Dad. She brings the reader up through her childhood to present day by centering her chapters on particular foods that have been central in her life. I can't recommend the book highly enough ... it's got its hilarious moments, great recipes, tips on handling certain foods, and poignant times. It's a love story on so many levels ...

Making the decision on posting one of Molly's rcipes was a no-brainer, but which one? Tough decision. There are over forty recipes to choose from - everything from potato salad to bouchons au thon (tuna puffs), butternut soup with pear, cider, and vanilla bean to fruit nut balls ... amazing variety. I am in the mood for scones, though. It's hot here today. I want a jug of iced tea and some warm lemon and ginger scones. Easy snacking for when Silent Bob comes in from mowing the lawn and raking the grass into hummocks for the puppy to romp through ... a cold glass of iced tea and a couple buttered scones will hit the spot!



Scones are a basic quick bread ... I make them in my food processor, so that I don't have to handle the dough too much. The key to light scones is cold butter, fast processing, minimal kneading, chilling the dough once you've formed the scones, a hot oven, and a fast bake. These scones, start to finish, took about forty-five minutes, including the chill time in the freezer. By the time the scones came out of the oven, the tea had finished steeping and was chilled on ice with lemon slices.



Molly's recipe calls for finely chopped crystallized ginger and lemon zest. These two ingredients are added to a basic scone recipe to make a lightly spiced and lemon scented scone ... perfect with soft butter.



I whisked the dry ingredients together in the food processor bowl, poured in the lemon zest and sugar and pulsed in the egg and milk mix and minced ginger just until the dough rolled away from the walls of the processor bowl. Then, I flopped the whole mass onto a barely floured board and kneaded the dough with flour-dusted hands just ten times, shoved the edges into the semblance of a circle and used the pizza cutter to make wedges.



I transferred the wedges to a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet, chilled the dough in the freezer for 15 minutes, and baked the scones in a 425°Foven for about 15 minutes. Perfect scones ... no kidding. Just about that time, SB came in needing a cold drink, so we had our iced tea and scones for a late afternoon snack.



I'm going to link you folks to Molly's food blog ... Orangette's Scottish Scones . These scones are the exact recipe that I used except I subbed in a scant half cup of crystallized ginger and two teaspoons of lemon zest for the strawberries and used buttermilk instead of milk. That's what I love about a basic scone recipe ... it's open to all sorts of finagling! Enjoy ... and go out and get a copy of A Homemade Life, if you haven't already read it! 


10 comments:

  1. Susan, you're an awesome writer yourself, I just love reading your blog. You have the ability to make me feel I'm right there with you. I can perfectly picture everything you write about. Like these scones. Warm from the oven (sigh......) and some iced tea (another sigh....). It's hot here today too and will be even hotter tomorrow and I'm THRILLED. Finally!!!! Have a great week!

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  2. These scones do look perfect. I've never heard of freezing them prior to cooking but I'm never one to turn down an idea in search of perfection! Love Orangette too! Happy days eh?

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  3. What a beautiful post; I do enjoy reading you; like we ar sharing these scones with my jug of ice tea sittting in the refrigerator.
    Rita

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  4. If only I were sitting on the patio sipping iced tea and nibbling on scones rather than quickly reading blogs and getting ready for work...sigh.

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  5. @bellini - Ah dearie! I feel your pain. I really do! Here's hoping you have a great day at work ... one inwhich you accomplish all you wish to and ignore the rest without pangs of guilt or pains in the as#*@% getting on your case! Cheers!

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  6. Sounds like a good read! And your scones look yummy.

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  7. I loved that book. You did a great job describing it.

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  8. I'm going to be on the lookout for that book! The scones look fantastic!

    Mary

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  9. A neighbour has just given me a big bag of lemons and your iced tea has just reminded me about a lemonade recipe with ginger I want to make, thanks! Would love to try the scones but the detox is still going strong. I love the sound of the book too, I'm going to check out th blog now!!

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  10. Great scones!! I love my basic scone recipe too, I always adapt it for whatever scones I'm in the mood for :)

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