Monthly Archives: September 2012

Interpretations

We had an interesting evening meal tonight.

With Dagmar off babysitting and the kids’ friend Brian here – Angel Girl and I were outnumbered at the supper table.

And since the guys had all been out working on Pedro’s truck – the conversation was littered with a strange terminology.

Angel Girl and I just took it all in.

Then we heard Brian describe this truck that he drove – his face animated:

“It’s a 7.3 turbo diesel 2000 Ford F350 super duty, bully-dog chipped, 500 horsepower machine.”

All the males at the table smiled appreciatively while Pedro responded with a very heartfelt, “Sweet!”

I just shook my head and said, “I have no idea what you just said.”

Brian answered, “It’s a really big truck that smokes when I drive it.”

๐Ÿ™‚

Now that I can understand.

Sometimes you just need an interpretation.

Ginger Chocolate Chip Scones

SconesThe calendar says its autumn – and the weather the last 2 days has proven it to be true!

We’re embracing the cooler temperatures, wearing hoodies, drinking hot chocolate and baking.

Dagmar’s discovered these ginger scones in her new tea party cookbook and it was love at first sight – or taste.

Since the book is written with British measurements – she had to do a few alterations.

And of course we added the chocolate chips – because even the best is better with chocolate! ๐Ÿ™‚

Ginger Chocolate Chip Scones
original recipe from The Afternoon Tea Collection

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
3-3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ginger
1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons honey (or corn syrup)
1 cup chocolate chips

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and egg yolks until light and fluffy.

Sift together the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.

Mix together the honey and buttermilk.

Add the dry ingredients with the buttermilk and honey to the butter mixture.

Use a fork to mix until you have a soft, sticky dough. Add the chocolate chips and incorporate carefully.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead gently till smooth.

Press dough into a circle about 3/4 inch thick. Either cut into 2 inch rounds or cut it like a pie into a dozen triangles.

Transfer the scones to a greased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes.

We dusted the top with powdered sugar before serving – but a light glaze would be yummy, too!

Enjoy!

A Sad But Almost Funny Moment of Grief

Grief surprises you.

Just when you think you are doing fine – it hits you right between the eyes.

Like today, as Jan and I were casually walking through an antique store in Jamesport, Missouri.

I was just wandering along looking at things – when I saw Grandma’s china.

Well – it wasn’t Grandma’s exact china – but a set that was identical.

I’ve always loved Grandma’s china. It was a beautiful pattern with tiny blue flowers – and there it was staring at me.

On a shelf at the antique store.

With a sign that read 50% off.

I gasped and stopped so suddenly that Jan almost ran into me.

“It’s Grandma’s china! On sale! Well – not exactly Grandma’s china – but it looks just like it!” I said in a rush.

Jan just looked at me quizzically.

“Maybe I should get a cup and saucer to put in my china hutch to remember Grandma by? But then again – it isn’t really my Grandma’s china is it?”

Just then I spotted a gravy boat in the same set and continued without pausing for breath, ” A gravy boat! I remember when Grandma first got the set and used a gravy boat at Christmas. It was the first time I ever saw a gravy boat. I loved it!”

And then it hit.

Without warning.

I teared up and broke down right there in the front of the china display in the middle of a crowded antique store.

I saw Grandma making mashed potatoes and filling her beautiful gravy boat with her homemade gravy and placing it on the dining room table in front of me.

And I cried.

Blubbered even.

Mashed potatoes and gravy pack a powerful emotional connection.

Boy did people clear out of that section of the store fast! You could almost hear their thoughts, “Emotional melt-down in aisle 3 – please clear the area!”

I headed off to another section of the store and stared at a meaningless display of cameras and tried to pull myself together, leaving my poor husband staring after me in confusion.

“Does she want me to buy the cup and saucer?

Or am I supposed to buy the gravy boat?

Or both?

Or neither because it isn’t actually her Grandma’s china?

And where did she go anyway?”

Bless his heart.

As I stood staring at the vintage Brownie cameras I realized that down deep – it wasn’t the cup or the saucer or the gravy boat I wanted.

It was Grandma.

And no – we didn’t buy any china today.ย  I’m sure I’ll see that pattern again if I change my mind.

But we will definitely be having having mashed potatoes for lunch tomorrow.

With homemade gravy.

And I’ll remember Grandma.

Photo Finish

Can I be a proud momma for just a minute? Again.

(I know – I know – it’s two weeks in a row – but it is really exciting!)

Angel Girl's prize photo

Angel Girl got a blue ribbon at the state fair. ๐Ÿ™‚

The blue ribbon itself isn’t what I most proud of – she’s gotten those before. But this ribbon is in photography.

Her passion. Something she”s been working very hard on.

Last year none of her photos made it past the stiff competition at the County Fair.

But her judge was wonderful. He spent a lot of time looking at her pictures and gave her some very construction criticism.

And then he told her that she had a natural gift for photography – the artisticย  eye needed to find the great shots. All of the other aspects of getting a good picture can be learned – but the ability to see the shot is a gift.

And Angel Girl has it.

(Why do those words make me want to cry – even a year later?)

She soaked up the encouragement, studied the criticisms, and took thousands of pictures over the next year.

And one was chosen for the State Fair.

And got a blue ribbon.

And I just had to share it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Scones and Lemon Curd

Our little group of home school moms got together last week to kick off our school year.
TeaWe hosted things here with a lovely tea party for the moms and hot chocolate and play for the kiddos.

Each mom brought some goodies for our tea table or some treats for the kiddos – or both!

We had a huge selection of teas to choose from – everything from Earl Grey to green tea and herbal choices. And you should have seen our spread of goodies! Wow!

Dagmar was recently given a wonderful book with tea party recipes (thank you Faith!) – so she was in charge of our contributions – one of which was scones with whipped cream and lemon curd.

What a perfect – and very British – combination!

Scones

1-3/4 cup flour
2-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold butter
2 eggs
1/3 cup cream

Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.

Using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the mixture is the size of small peas.

In a separate bowl beat the eggs. Add the cream and combine.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the liquid into it. Combine with a few swift strokes. Do not over mix.

Place the dough on a floured board and pat until 3/4 inches thick. Cut with a knife into triangle shapes or use a biscuit cutter for circles.

Sprinkle the top with sugar and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Yummy for breakfast, lunch or tea time and absolutely perfect for lemon curd!

Lemon Curd

3 lemons (both the zest and enough for juice for 1/2 cup)
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 stick butter, room temperature
4 extra-large eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt

Using a carrot peeler or lemon zester, remove the zest from 3 lemons, but be careful to not get any white pith.

Put the zest in a food processor with the sugar. Process until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.

Juice the lemons to get 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice.

Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the lemon juice and salt. Mix well.

Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened – which will be about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat, pour into a fancy serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Serve on the scones with fresh whipped cream, or just eat it by the spoonfuls like some moms did!

Enjoy!