Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Scones make me happy. Whether they're flaky or moist, light or substantial, speckled with fruit or nubbly with oats - scones are a good thing. These tend towards the moist, substantial, and nubbly ends of the spectrum, all of which remind me of scones I got in a gift box from my dad a few years ago. One thing about my dad? He prioritizes good food. Whenever we were having a hard time during college, work, or grad school, his solution was always a gift box from Zingerman's. My sister mostly got the Weekender, I generally got a box of assorted scones. Hers always seemed interesting, full of cookies and coffeecake and peanuts and bread, but I treasured my scones. The flavors have changed since the last time, but at that point they were oatmeal cinnamon, raisin, and ginger. And while my favorite was always the ginger (studding anything with candied ginger is a wonderful idea), I never said no to the oatmeal scones. They were for mornings when I wanted a heftier breakfast, not just a dainty bite to eat with my morning coffee or tea.
These seem like an upgraded version of those scones though. Trading in nutmeg for the cinnamon, upping the oatmeal, and getting to eat them warm from the oven makes them a very very good thing. Which is a relief, since my dad has stopped sending me Zingerman's boxes, and I only go on the site so that I can put together a random assortment of things for my sister when she's stressed. Nothing like getting a package of interesting cheese, a loaf of bread, pickled raisins, and Camargue red rice to make for a nice pick-me-up, right? Thank goodness for my family, that last statement is actually true. W're a bit food-obsessed. Seriously, the best part of any holiday together is the all-day cooking and baking that occurs on the day-of. For weeks before, we plan out menus, finding and proposing and discarding all sorts via phone or email until we finally figure out what we'll be making. And while my dad generally includes mashed potatoes because they're my favorite, everything else tends to be brand new. I can't imagine what holidays would have been like without the annual event of flipping through every holiday Gourmet issue since 1970, without the craziness of fitting three people all prepping and chopping and stirring into our not-so-massive kitchen.
Maybe that explains why I have such strong associations with different foods. Whenever J and I make pasta, I reminisce about how I was the "official pasta taste tester" of the family. Seriously, my dad would call me into the kitchen to have me check pasta doneness, and I was considered the ultimate authority on it. Mashed potatoes were seasoned until I had deemed them just right. And I don't remember a time when I wasn't tasked with chopping up or peeling something for dinner. As much as I might have complained while growing up about having to do vegetable prep, now the situation is completely reversed. After last week's trip to Sacramento with its consequent 6 day hiatus from the kitchen, it didn't take much before I had to get back to chopping and cooking, mixing and baking. And while J made fun of me for my ability to commandeer the entire kitchen in 5 seconds flat, I wouldn't have it any other way.
And for those wondering, Tuesdays with Dorie members don't post the recipes for anything that we bake as a group. The host for each week puts the recipe up - check on the TWD site for who is hosting any particular week if you'd like the recipe.
Last Week: Maple Cornmeal Biscuits
Next Week: Caramel Pots de Creme