30 August 2009

Where to go from here.

So I am supposed to write about that which is the object of my passion(s). I am supposed to write about that which is the recipient of my desires, which is the butter to my bread, the blood to my heart, the frosting to my cake, the Simone de Beauvoir to my Jean Paul Sartre...

In short, I am supposed to write.

When Ernest Hemingway was 22, Paris provided him ample acreage for roaming and plenty of empty chairs to occupy next to the likes of literary luminaries on the verge of lighting up the city with their ex-pat glow polished in the hours spent practicing their verbiage and intellectual mind games that seem to make life more important, if only for the moment.

I've been to Paris. I've been to Mumbai. I've been to Italy and lived in the alps. Although each place held the possibility of a life fulfilled, sustained the hope that is lost suddenly only a few days after returning to a place well known and well lived in called home; although each prospect and realization of being-in-that-place, no matter how romantic or how foreign to a Westerner, never was there a moment to define the rest of existence, to set the next million steps on a clear, flower-lined, mirror-paved path of glory or enlightenment or fulfillment. No, only in the few fleeting moments arising in sudden twinges of joy, by dwelling in the possibility of future prospects where the unknown is romantic and not grotesque, cold or groggy, did that contentment arise. It was before departure, just after the decision was made to leave and usually accompanied by an equally intense fear or loneliness beginning somewhere below the soles of my feet. The hope comes in handy to slice the vines holding the ankles in place and to infuse the mind with some buoyancy so as to lighten the load of loneliness.

What if it's as simple as always holding out hope?

As simple, I should say, as making croissant dough from scratch, as achieving the perfect lightness of hand when mixing biscuits. For if I could awaken to something as angelic as, say, Macrina's buttermilk biscuits with homemade peach jam each morning, well, perhaps I could fall asleep with at least one part of my body wherein hope rests undenied: the tastebud.

These two aforementioned abilities would produce the likes of cinnamon rolls and morning buns and, of course, the biscuits. And with Macrina's cookbook at my side the power seems to be in my range of accomplishment. However, using whole wheat pastry flour produced a lackluster scone and right now the thought of making croissant dough melts me. But there is one saving grace to this mess of not-living-in-Seattle-and-thus-missing-biscuit-by-way-of-Macrina, and it comes from the bible: ginger scones with lemon blueberry filling.

I made these last August and have been thinking about them since. Sporadically, the memory of the scone's thin sugary "crust" which shatters upon first bite and subsequently becomes a crackly reminder throughout the remaining scone to be eaten surfaced, yet the lure of new recipes, new flavors and lack of fresh berries overruled. The cool interior of lemon curd, the chewy bits of crystallized ginger and the burst of berry nestled between layers of cream colored scone add to the multiplicity of texture--cool smooth soft firm--which melts together in the oven but somehow retains original form when the final sitting is reached, at the breakfast table... or hour of tea.
Ginger Scones with Lemon-Blueberry Filling
Adapted from The Berry Bible, written by Janie Hibler
This recipe yielded 11 scones sandwiching the filling. For 22 smaller, non-sandwiched scones and equally delicious results open to condiment variation, omit the filling and bake each disk of scone separately.
Oven: 400 degrees.
Baking Equipment: lightly buttered baking sheet.
Baking Time: about 16 minutes.
Whisk together in a large bowl
3¼ cups flour
½ cup sugar
2½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda and
½ teaspoon sea salt.
With a pastry blender, cut in
12 tablespoon unsalted butter
until you have a crumb-like dough. Add
½ cup diced, crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon lemon zest and
1 cup buttermilk.
Stir until dough is just wet, then kneed by hand until dough just comes together.

Roll the dough onto a floured surface and flatten to a ¼-inch thickness. Using a round cookie cutter or the top of a glass (should be about 3 inches wide), cut the dough into about 22 circles. Lay half of the circles on the baking sheets and place
1 teaspoon of the lemon curd (1/4 cup total)
in the middle of each circle. Spread the curd and place
5 fresh blueberries (1/2 cup total)
on top of the curd. Top each curd-filled circle with another round of dough and press the edges together to seal. Sprinkle with fine sugar.

Bake scones for about 16 minutes or until the top half of the scone is cooked through. Enjoy warm or let cool to room temperature.


Emily said...

o my lord. this sounds so good.
we should chat.
that would be nice.
in the mean time,
my loves.

V said...

I miss you! Thanks for reading. I'm glad you are there. Or here, rather.

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