Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Akin to Shortening Days

I know that there are too many of these posts circulating right now, but I have a good recipe to promote, so what other logical path was there? According to this article, I should have just swallowed it instead of harming the world by divulging it as yet another pumpkin-spice-something. Anyway, I'm throwing it out there, and since I've found a bunch of other cooking- and food-related articles recently, I might as well write a post. 

Please don't be scared by the fact that the original recipe was from Weight Watchers. Usually I don't go looking for recipes on "diet" websites, but this one popped up when I searched for pumpkin scones and the ingredient list was entirely real foods, so I went for it. If you're looking for a Starbucks imitation or other saccharine delights, you'll have to look elsewhere, as my version is much more suited to real breakfasts, perhaps paired with an egg or some yogurt with pomegranate seeds.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cranberry Scones
These scones are fairly not-sweet with a hint of spice. The pumpkin creates the moisture that allows for the reduction of the butter, so don't be alarmed by the amount of either ingredient.

  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat if that's what you have)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (if you're feeling very healthy, use all whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (the original recommends ginger, but we were out, so do as you please)
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped (I actually accidentally used a quarter cup then, upon consuming the scones, found that they were rather sparse, so I think that this measurement is wiser.)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  1. Combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly. 
  3. Add pumpkin and egg to the large bowl. Mix with a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon just until combined. Stir in the cranberries. It will be fairly sticky, so don't overmix. 
  4. Sprinkle flour on a clean surface. Turn the dough out and flip it over to coat it with the flour. Divide into two equal portions. 
  5. Flatten each piece of dough into a disk slightly less than an inch thick. Cut each into 6 wedges (for a total of 12 scones).
  6. Place the scones on a baking sheet lined with Silpat or parchment paper. 
  7. Bake for 17 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

Since it's not too long after Halloween, I thought you might still be interested in the history of trick-or-treating. If not, you should still visit the author's blog, Four Pounds Flour, that discusses historic gastronomy. Also, since it's starting to be that baking time of year in general, a quick reassurance about the coveted corn syrup for the anticipated pecan pies.

Penultimately, I'm excited to note that I'll be participating in the 2013 Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

And now for a "found" poem I wrote using elements from Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. (It's typed out in the manner that it is because it's meant to be hung as art.) The book is worth reading on its own. The descriptions he uses are so dense that they're almost poetry on their own. 

When I look too closely at my life, it’s just bottle caps threaded on a nail.

But I am lucky, standing here on
the eve of independence.
My circumstances are the elusive mountain empire shrouded in mist.

A life powered by powder coffee awaits me, the buds and offshoots of inspiration in position to EXILE me from the dire quay upon which the American Dream has collapsed resolutely.

I will be delivered on a floating packet of misery, intent on avoiding the sheep life at all costs.

I will cast off any and all ill-fitting plastic shoes upon which I might build my reliance.

I will nurse the earlier epochs and obscene talismans of my dissonance.

I am not the least bit impressed by the living donor of the greatness in which I find suffering.

I have rehearsed my lines in my head until I can find no new meaning in my own existence.

Perhaps it’s too late to say all this,

But life is in the end about fixing holes.