Scones and Solitude

Sometimes (all the time) when I click on a blog for a recipe, I get irritated because I have to scroll through 47 pictures and the whole song-and-dance story behind the recipe, and I just want to know if I need to pull out my coconut flour or not.

And then here I go writing about my whole song-and-dance story before I get to my recipe. (And you don't need coconut flour).

I promise to keep it short, and to not use too many (any) pictures. I just want to share what I've learned*,  because Evolve Well is about taking everyday experiences and figuring out what they can teach you to, you know, evolve. So.

On with it:

This weekend, I'm HOME ALONE. I'm home alone!

I used to spend a monstrous amount of time alone (read: pre-kids and really pre-marriage), and sometimes it made me feel...lonely.

But now my alone time is so so so so rare (and even when it exists, it is shadowed by thoughts of what to make for dinner or am I going to make it back in time to pack lunchboxes before bedtime) that when I get a dose of it, I bathe in it. 

I admit that sometimes I take the long way home from work (and by long way, I mean I pass my street and keep going) just to have an extra 5 minutes to drive in the car (alone) and turn the music up. 

I covet my alone time, but it lasts only so long before the shadow of guilt comes along and whispers (shouts): "Your kids are home waiting for you! They will only be young once! Plus, you have a lot of laundry to do!"

(I know it may sound like I resent my Mom duties, but let me be clear: I love my kids and I love being a Mom. And I resent my Mom duties).

I know that I actually need more alone time to be a better Mom and Wife and Person, but guilt is a bastard and it overrides what I know and insists upon what I feel.

But this weekend, Mr. EW has the kids down the shore OVERNIGHT (twice!) and even though I have to work (which is why I'm not with them), I am alone. I am not bound by anything. I have no guilt to feel. 

And even though I chose to spend a portion of my time baking scones for lunch boxes (pretty much everything I bake goes into the freezer for quick lunchbox prep), it was my choice to do it and I didn't have to man the kids with baking powder on my hands, and I didn't have to let Little Evolvers stir in the wet ingredients (which is wonderful but also messy and not efficient) and I turned up my iTunes playlist of the moment (Cake by the Ocean, anyone?) in my kitchen instead of Pandora KidzBop and I didn't even have to worry about what to make for dinner after the scones were finished.

These scones are full of joy and love and peace, my friends. They would taste good even if they didn't taste good. Which they do. 

I also noticed that I didn't overly lick the batter at the bottom of the bowl like I usually do, because there was no frenzy and no mindlessness and no stress to encourage me. The reward was in the process, and the music, and the clean, empty, spotless-because-I'm-Type-A-and-a-tidy-room-makes-a-tidy-mind kitchen.

Too many days of this and I might start to feel lonely again. But not today, folks. Not today. (Not tomorrow either. I could do this for a week, easy).

The recipe? I have decided to stop reinventing the wheel and just give you the direct link to the original recipe. I did adapt it to suit myself (see comments below), but you can click HERE [Credit: Clean Eating Magazine] or just scroll further down because I went ahead and pasted it for you at the bottom. 

* I used sprouted spelt flour instead of pastry flour.

* I used Nutiva shortening instead of butter (just because I had it and need to use it).

* I omitted the pecans because we've been overdosing on nuts around here lately.

* I added 1/4 cup of that Trader Joes sprouted seed/grain mix that I posted about on my Facebook page the other day.

* I totally did use buttermilk, which I bought for the occasion, and it DOES make a difference. I also used the buttermilk in my GF Blueberry Muffins, which I made just prior to the scones and OMG those are good too.

* I didn't have raisins, so I omitted those. Which made them less sweet overall. 

* The basic dough is NOT sweet so if you like things on the sweeter side, add more maple syrup. I would increase to maybe 1/3 or even 1/2 cup (without the raisins).

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour or spelt flour + additional for dusting

  • 1½ tsp baking powder

  • 3/4 tsp orange zest

  • 3/8 tsp (1/4 + 1/8 tsp) baking soda (TRY: Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda)

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

  • 6 tbsp cold organic unsalted butter (TIP: Keep in fridge until ready to use)

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened raisins or currants

  • 1/4 cup chopped unsalted pecans

  • 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs (or use 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks and reduce maple syrup to 2 tbsp)

  • 2 tbsp hemp hearts

  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk + additional as needed

  • 2½ tbsp pure maple syrup (preferably Grade A)

  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, orange zest, baking soda and salt. Cut butter into pieces and use a pastry cutter or your fingertips to work butter into flour mixture, making a coarse meal with a few larger chunks.

  3. Add raisins, pecans, cacao nibs and hemp hearts to bowl and stir to combine.

  4. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, maple syrup and vanilla. Slowly add buttermilk mixture to flour-butter mixture, stirring to combine, just until mixture begins to form clumps. (Note: If any dry flour remains, add more buttermilk as necessary, 1 tbsp at a time, until flour is incorporated.) 

  5. Transfer mixture to baking sheet. Lightly dust your hands with flour and gather mixture into a ball, squeezing to form a dough (it may still crumble slightly).

  6. Flatten dough to 1-inch thickness and fold in half. Flatten and fold once more. Gently shape into a 1-inch-thick, 6-inch-diameter round. Cut into 6 wedges, then arrange them 1/2 inch apart. (Alternatively, shape into a rectangle and cut into squares.)

  7. Brush tops with buttermilk. Bake scones until puffed, golden brown on top, and hollow-sounding when tapped on bottoms, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool slightly on a wire rack.

Nutrients Per Serving (1 scone): Calories: 377, Total Fat: 20 g, Sat. Fat: 9 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g, Carbs: 44 g, Fiber: 9 g, Sugars: 20 g, Protein: 6 g, Sodium: 281 mg, Cholesterol: 33 mg

* What I learned:

Mommy-guilt leads to less-than-desirable behaviors for me. Without the guilt, I enjoyed the process more. Note to self: let go of the Mommy guilt. Spread your wings and allow yourself to take a break -- drive past your street 10x if you need to, every single time. Tell your kids you need some of your own music playing in the kitchen. Read a book while they play with their dolls or (God forbid) watch another episode of Shimmer & Shine. Taking a time out makes everything better. Especially scones.